Coronavirus tips mental health feature

Staying in amid the circuit breaker measures, while socially responsible, is tough. While we’ve covered some ways to keep busy, Singapore’s mental healthcare organisations have also doled out tips that’ll tide us through the coronavirus outbreak.

On keeping busy, here are a few activities we’ve compiled: from virtual museum tours for the aesthete, to home workouts for the athlete. For everyone else, there’s nothing like good food. Or good drink.

We can’t forget the mental health benefits of social interaction – while we can’t meet our friends or faraway loved ones in person, video-conferencing is always an option.  “Human beings are social creatures by nature with an innate need to be socially connected with others,” reads a Facebook post by Singapore Psychological Society on April 18.

Because we aren’t the experts where it comes to mental health, look to these organisations that are providing avenues for much-needed social contact and counselling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

One such social enterprise is Happiness Initiative. It promotes happiness through positive psychology: a proactive approach to mental health that precludes ‘negative’ mental health conditions like depression or anxiety disorder. It has previously organised conferences and conducted workshops at school promoting happiness.

Just last year, the enterprise hosted the world’s first Happiness film festival that seeks to encourage happiness through films. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Happiness Initiative is hosting Netflix parties (featuring feel-good movies like the Blind Side and Julie & Julia) as well as sharing other positive news and happiness tips through their Instagram page.

Coronavirus tips mental health Happiness Initiative
Co-founders Simon Leow and Sherman Ho of Happiness Initiative.

Says Simon Leow, co-founder of Happiness Initiative, “If there’s one thing that will tide us over any adversity, its social support. We can remain socially connected while maintaining a safe distance.”

Here are some other avenues for mental health counselling and other coronavirus mental healthcare tips. You could also consider donating to these organisations, which are largely not-for-profit, volunteer-based organisations.

Singapore Association for Mental Health: Since 1968, this volunteer welfare organisation provides community-based mental healthcare options as well as clinical support. Their focus is on rehabilitation and reintegration. Amid the current coronavirus outbreak, the organisation has organised online group art sessions to stretch your creativity and meet others virtually. Their helpline is also open for anyone that just needs someone to talk to.

Helpline: 1800-283-7019

Singapore Psychological Society: The society was founded in 1979 with the aim of advancing psychology as a science and profession in Singapore. The society has also been posting working-from-home mental wellness tips that include staying connected to others, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and acknowledging, not repressing, mental health issues that arise from the coronavirus outbreak like anxiety.

The Singapore Psychological Society has compiled a list of doctors, workshops and avenues for mental health support.

Samaritans of Singapore: This organisation provides confidential emotional support to those in crisis, contemplating suicide or are affected by suicide. The non-religious and not-for-profit organisation hopes to provide hope for those in need during the coronavirus outbreak, and they’ve encouraged social media users to share their own message of hope and encouragement with the hashtag HopeThroughTheNight.

Helpline: 1800-221-4444

Safe Space: Singapore’s first online-to-offline counselling app Safe Space’s raison d’etre is to provide counselling services and remove stigma from receiving, and about, mental healthcare. On their Facebook page, Safe Space is providing daily mental wellness tips and useful resources for those in need.

Other hotlines:

National CARE Hotline (24-hour, manned by over 300 volunteers): 6202-6868

Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222

Fei Yue’s online counselling centre:


Photography by Hannah Wei on Unsplash.