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NCSS’ Beyond The Label Focuses On Addressing Stigma, Empowering Youths And Promoting Family And Community Support For Persons With Mental Health Conditions

04 Oct 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA RELEASE

NCSS’ BEYOND THE LABEL FOCUSES ON ADDRESSING STIGMA, EMPOWERING YOUTHS AND PROMOTING FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR PERSONS WITH MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS SINGAPORE 23 SEPTEMBER 2021


The fourth edition of the Beyond the Label (BTL) public education movement by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) will focus on addressing stigma, targeting youths, and parents. The year-long movement was launched today at the BTL Fest – the movement’s signature festival, by Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development, Mr Eric Chua.

2 Parliamentary Secretary Mr Eric Chua unveiled two new initiatives – the BTL #StopTheStigma social activation and BTL Plug & Play toolkit. The former aims to fight stigma by encouraging people to speak up on mental health, while the latter provides youths with resources to kickstart their own anti-stigma initiatives. Through the line-up of programmes and initiatives, this year’s BTL movement will reinforce the importance of early help-seeking and promote family and community support for youths with mental health conditions. BTL 2021 also seeks to equip and empower youths to become advocates of mental health. Family support a crucial determinant of the Quality of Life for Children and youths

3 Mr Chua also announced newly released findings from the NCSS’ Quality of Life (QOL) Study for Children and Youth. The study found that children and youth with mental health conditions showed significantly lower QOL scores than their peers in many aspects of their well-being.

4 For children and youths with mental health conditions or other health conditions, psychological well-being was found to be one of the most important factors to their overall well-being, connecting to many other domains of their QOL, including their physical well-being, autonomy and parent relations, school environment, as well as the ability of their caregivers to cope meaningfully with personal difficulties and experiences. As for children and youth without any health conditions, the same study found that positive family functioning, which refers to the family’s ability to solve problems and spend time together as a unit, plays a key role in their psychological and overall-wellbeing of children and youth.

5 Mr Chua said, “The study shows that family dynamics and mental well-being are important factors for children and youth’s quality of life. For parents, it is even more critical to build strong foundations and relationships with their children at a young age. This would help 2  them open up and share their struggles and challenges and get the support and care they need.” Co-creating a conducive and supportive environment for the recovery of persons with mental health conditions

6 From masterclasses and dialogue sessions where parents and individuals can learn how to better support persons with mental health conditions, to workshops and classes where youths can share their perspectives, NCSS has lined up a series of activities as part of the campaign’s signature outreach event, BTL Fest. Through the diverse programmes taking place from 17 September to 31 October, BTL Fest seeks to encourage greater family and community support for persons with mental health conditions and to provide a safe space for participants to ask questions about mental health conditions and where to seek help. The programmes are organised in partnership with youths from the Youth Corps Singapore’s Mental Health Cluster, members of the Youth Alliance, and organisations including Association for Music Therapy (Singapore), Limitless, Mum Space and Shopee. Please refer to Annex A for the full line-up of programmes.

7 Through social media posts with the hashtag #StopTheStigma, the BTL #StopTheStigma activation encourages the public to show their support and acceptance of persons with mental health conditions, persons in recovery. Social media users are encouraged to share their lived experiences, or how they have supported their loved ones on their mental health journey on their social media accounts with the hashtag #StopTheStigma. They are encouraged to tag their friends to do the same to rally support from the community to minimise the stigma that prevents those with mental health conditions from seeking help. At the same time, it seeks to remind those who are struggling that they are not alone. Empowering youths in the anti-stigma movement

8 To encourage youths to be advocates and empower them to kickstart their own anti-stigma initiatives, NCSS developed the BTL Plug & Play toolkit together with youths from Youth Corp Singapore’s mental health cluster.

9 The toolkit contains facts and information about mental health, existing activities that youths can adapt for their own use, and resources and tips on how to kickstart anti-stigma initiatives within peer groups, schools, and the community. This toolkit will be rolled out in October and made available on NCSS website and Beyond the Label social media platforms.

10 To find out more about BTL Fest, visit https://go.gov.sg/btlfest2021, or the BTL Facebook and Instagram page. For mental health resources and services, visit Belle, Beyond the Label Helpbot (https://go.gov.sg/belle-helpbot).

For media enquiries, please contact:

Michelle Wong
Assistant Manager,
Communications Division
Ministry of Social and Family Development
Email: michelle_wong@msf.gov.sg

Lim Say Heng
Senior Manager,
Communications Division
Ministry of Social and Family Development
Email: lim_say_heng@msf.gov.sg

National Council of Social Service (NCSS)

NCSS is the umbrella body for over 450-member social service organisations in Singapore. Its mission is to provide leadership and direction in enhancing the capabilities and capacity of our members, advocating for social service needs and strengthening strategic partnerships, for an effective social service ecosystem. Community Chest is the fundraising and engagement arm of NCSS and Social Service Institute (SSI) is the human capital development arm of NCSS.

Social Service Sector Strategic Thrusts (4ST)

The Social Service Sector Strategic Thrusts (4ST) is a 5 year roadmap for the sector, co-developed by NCSS with stakeholders in the social service ecosystem – member organisations, service users, government, community, business leaders and civic-minded individuals. It is guided by a person-centred and holistic approach towards advancing the quality of life for individuals. The 4ST calls for active participation and collaboration so that everyone in the ecosystem plays a part to achieve a shared vision, where every person is empowered to live with dignity in a caring and inclusive society.

About the NCSS “Beyond the Label” Campaign

The “Beyond the Label” campaign is a five-year public education effort funded by the Tote Board Mental Health Strategic initiative. It also contributes to two of the three key thrusts of the five-year road map, the Social Service Sector Strategic Thrust (4ST), launched by NCSS to empower individuals, families and communities as well as forge a more caring, collaborative and impactful social service ecosystem.

About the Beyond the Label Fest

Launched in 2019, the signature event will take the form of mainly virtual programmes as well as a physical exhibition. Being a signature event that allows for more meaningful interactions and understanding on the topic of mental health, activites have been curated and included collaborations with youth groups, non-profit organisations, enthusiasts, and educators. The activities are centered around the arts, music, fitness, as well as conversations, which includes a workshops on songwriting and music therapy, as well as dialogues.

About the Youth Alliance

The Youth Alliance is a network of agencies that came together in partnership with “Beyond the Label”, to promote mental wellness among youth by encouraging them to seek help early, provide peer support and be the catalyst for change in the movement to reduce stigma towards mental health conditions.

Co-led by Campus PSY and TOUCH Community Services, and supported by the National Council of Social Service, the Youth Alliance comprises representatives from government agencies such as the Health Promotion Board, healthcare agencies like the Community Health Assessment Team, social service agencies such as AMKFSC Community Services Ltd. and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) like Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, the Singapore Institute of Technology and Nanyang Technological University.

Youth can access the Youth Alliance’s Instagram via @youthalliancesg

 

ANNEX A