HomeHealthMental HealthSingaporeans more mindful of family relationships, survey finds

Singaporeans more mindful of family relationships, survey finds

As a result of the pandemic, Singaporeans are becoming more family-oriented and aware of their personal relationships with their families and loved ones, according to a study by Blackbox Singapore and FWD Insurance. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

As a result of the pandemic, Singaporeans are becoming more family-oriented and more aware of their personal relationships with their families and loved ones, according to a survey.

In a recent questionnaire Carried out by Black Box Singapore in cooperation with FWD insurance60 percent of Singaporeans said paying attention to their personal relationships with their families and loved ones is one of the good changes brought about by the pandemic.

A graph showing the percentage of Singaporean family who are aware of their personal relationships with family and loved ones.  11% for good, 49% for mostly good, 33% for neutral, 6% for mostly bad and 1% for only bad.

A graph showing the percentage of Singaporean family who are aware of their personal relationships with family and loved ones. 11% for good, 49% for mostly good, 33% for neutral, 6% for mostly bad and 1% for only bad.

The research focused on global insights into mental health and was performed in 16 markets in Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia.

While the study highlighted the positive family outcome for Singapore, it may not be the same for its neighbours.

Asians and family responsibilities

When asked about stressors that affect mental health, Asians listed increasing family responsibilities and work stress as two of their top stressors.

Meanwhile, Westerners said they are more concerned about rising inflation and savings.

In addition, Asians are also more concerned about their family’s future compared to Westerners: 27 percent of Asians say this is their stressor compared to 21 percent of people from the West.

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A graph indicating that Asians are concerned about increasing family responsibilities and heavy workloads and stressful job.

A graph indicating that Asians are concerned about increasing family responsibilities and heavy workloads and stressful job.

In Singapore, however, the recent one Longitudinal early development study in Singapore found that 41 percent of families said the pandemic improved relationships between family members, and 71 percent of respondents spent more time together.

The study was supported by the Social Science Research Council and led by Professor Jean Yeung, founder and director of the Center for Family and Population Research at the National University of Singapore.

Mental health prevalence

According to the Blackbox-FWD survey, 65 percent of respondents in Asia believe that mental health issues will be one of the most critical problems in 2023. in Southeast Asia alone one in seven peopleor about 14 percent, are living with a mental illness.

A graph showing that 65% of Asians think mental health will become more important in a year.

A graph showing that 65% of Asians think mental health will become more important in a year.

In the latest Singapore Mental Health Study from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), the number of people with mental disorders who did not seek help remains high due to various barriers and treatment gaps.

Challenges in seeking help

In the Blackbox survey, mental health costs remain the largest factor globally (41%) and in Asia (40%).

Other barriers to seeking treatment for mental health issues in Asia include the following internal and external factors:

  • Difficulty talking to someone (34%)

  • Don’t want anyone else to know (21%)

  • Uncomfortable seeking help (28%)

  • Not knowing where to find practitioners (25%)

  • Not understanding mental health challenges enough (16%)

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A chart showing the cost of treatment and the difficulty of talking to someone about their mental problem are major factors that deter them from seeking help.

A chart showing the cost of treatment and the difficulty of talking to someone about their mental problem are major factors that deter them from seeking help.

The survey also found that Asians prefer the self-help route, while Westerners are more comfortable openly discussing mental health issues.

Insurance options for psychological problems

With treatment costs becoming a major barrier to seeking help, having insurance that covers mental health treatments can be a big help, as 76 percent in Asia still want to explore insurance options for mental health issues, according to the Blackbox-FWD survey.

According to the report, FWD Insurance also creates suitable insurance products and awareness about their offerings through targeted campaigns.

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