Challenges arising from Covid-19 have affected mental health of youths: Edwin Tong
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to more stresses and challenges affecting Singapore's youths, but the Government is working to safeguard their mental health, Mr Edwin Tong said.
Mr Tong revealed that one in five young people surveyed by the National Youth Council (NYC) between February and October last year said that their mental well-being was poor or very poor.
The Minister for Culture, Community and Youth was replying on Tuesday (Jan 11) to a parliamentary question filed by Member of Parliament (MP) Cheng Li Hui.
Ms Cheng, who is MP for Tampines Group Representation Constituency, had asked whether the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth has data on the number of young people seeking professional help since more of them seem to be turning to unhealthy coping habits such as excessive online gaming, drinking and shopping during the pandemic.
Mr Tong referred to the TODAY Annual Youth Survey 2021, which indicated that the majority of young people here were adopting a range of health coping mechanisms such as exercising (53 per cent), talking to loved ones (52 per cent), starting a new hobby (40 per cent) and being in the nature and outdoors (36 per cent).
About 66 per cent of respondents in the TODAY survey, which polled 1,066 young people between the ages of 18 and 34 in October last year, were willing to seek professional help, he noted.
"This is encouraging, and consistent with NYC’s findings. Such help-seeking behaviour is reassuring, so that our youths can receive help in a timely manner."
Mr Tong said the Government works closely with community partners to provide a range of professional services for the young to strengthen their mental health and well-being.