Depressive disorders are common conditions seen in teenagers at IMH's Child Guidance Clinics

Depressive disorders are common conditions seen in teenagers at IMH

Photo Courtesy: The New Paper

More teenagers from top schools in Singapore are now seeking help at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for school-related stress. Child Guidance Clinics, which treat children aged 6 to 18, saw an average of about 2,400 new cases every year from 2012 to 2017 for stress-related, anxiety and depressive disorders. 

Dr Lim Choon Guan, Senior Consultant and Deputy Chief of IMH's department of Developmental Psychiatry, said that over the past few years, they have seen more teenagers come into the clinic from top schools and report experiencing school-related stress. She said, school-related stress could be academic-based or relationship-based. Experts said that pressures faced by the young are real and can lead to anxiety, depression or suicidal behaviour. The stress could be from home or school environment or even themselves.

Professor Jason Tan, from National Institute of Education's Associate said the types and levels of pressure faced by the youth today have increased. He stated that it is not just about going to university but also getting into the best courses and prestigious schools. Online Bullying is a major concern lately too.

Director of MOE's Guidance Branch at the Student Development Curriculum Division, Madam Choy Wai Yin said that issues faced by students include management of emotions, sense of self-worth, motivation, family and peer relationships.

She said such students have now got access to programmes and people for help. 

A peer support system has been implemented by many schools, to motivate students to look out for and encourage one another to seek help from trusted adults.

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