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Launch of the SG Mental Well-Being Network on 16 July 2022

Keynote Address by Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Culture, Community And Youth, and Trade and Industry at the launch of the SG Mental Well-Being Network held at the Asian Civilisations Museum on 16 July 2022.

  1. Good morning, everyone. It’s really good to be here on a Saturday morning. All of us are here because the topic of mental well-being is something that we are all passionate about and is special and personal to us.
  2. I echo the appreciation that my colleagues SMS Janil, MOS Sun, and SPS Eric have conveyed to the Youth Mental Well-Being Network. Mental well-being and health has consistently been a top-of-mind issue among youths, and many others who have faced challenges during the pandemic.

    SG Mental Well-Being Network

  3. We recognise that the issue of mental well-being goes beyond youths. COVID-19 has impacted the mental well-being of many population segments, including our seniors, PMETs, youth and children. We are building upon the good work done by the Youth Mental Well-Being Network over the past two years, and expanding the Network to cover as broad a base as possible. This Network is the Taskforce’s partnership arm. 
  4. Over the past year, I have met with many leaders in the mental well-being space. One theme that consistently came up was our vision for a society where no one struggles alone. 
  5. We distilled all of what we learnt into a simple goal for the SG Well-being Network. One, to raise awareness of, and to de-stigmatise mental well-being issues. The next step is to equip one to look after themselves and to look after others. Most importantly, to provide a safe space for every one of us to do so. 
  6. How can we then achieve this goal? We cannot do this alone. That’s why all of you, our friends and our partners, are here today.
  7. This is what we are trying to achieve with the Forward Singapore initiative, where everyone comes together to strengthen our social compact and to build a caring and inclusive Singapore.

    Network’s Focus Areas

  8. The Network’s focus areas are aligned with the policy outcomes under the Taskforce. We will start with an initial focus on two areas – (1) strengthening community and peer support, and (2) rolling out awareness and engagement initiatives.

    a. For community and peer support focus, we will expand upstream support avenues to alleviate the strain on professional services, and to normalise how everyone can take action to strengthen their mental well-being.

    b. For the awareness and engagement focus area, we aim to help citizens achieve greater mental health literacy, wayfinding of resources and services, and de-stigmatisation of persons with mental health conditions.

    c. We decided to start with these two focus areas as all citizens can benefit from initiatives in these areas. The Network will expand its focus to include workplace and family support subsequently. 

    Well-Being Circles 

  9. The people around us are usually the first line of support in our mental well-being. To strengthen community and peer support, one of the key initiatives that we will be piloting under the Network will be the formation of Well-Being Circles in the community. The objectives of these Circles will be similar to the SG Mental Well-Being Network:

    a. To raise awareness of mental health and well-being issues. 

    b. To train and equip citizens with the skills to look after themselves as well as that of others; 

    c. To provide a safe space where citizens can support one another; 
  10. We will start by piloting a few Circles in several grassroot divisions. The Circles will be led by grassroot leaders and community volunteers, whom the partners from the Network will equip with resources, partnerships, and training support, to run mental well-being initiatives on the ground. Each Circle will have a different mix of programmes, to cater to the needs of the local community.
  11. We will review these pilot Circles before scaling up our efforts. We may not get everything right off the bat, but we can learn, try, iterate and get better over time. In the longer-term, we hope to encourage a larger movement on mental health, where everyone has the basic knowledge and skills on mental well-being, and to grow a pool of passionate citizens who can take action in this area. We will provide further updates on the Circles later in the year. 


  12. In conclusion, we are doing this because this is important, for every single one of us here today. It is also important to many others who are not aware of all the resources that are there, and who may be struggling, most times alone.
  13. We are bringing together a collective network and expanding it so that no one will struggle alone. I welcome you and thank you on the behalf of my team and colleagues. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for joining us in this well-meaning and fruitful endeavour. 
  14. Thank you very much.


Last updated on 16 July 2022