A Singapore model - REACH

Yuhuan Xie, Jillian Boon, Wan Hua Sim, Daniel Fung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Singapore is a small island with a land area of slightly over 700 square kilometers, at the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula. It is one of the wealthiest countries, ranked 35th in the world by gross domestic product (GDP) (World Bank, 2012). The state of physical health in Singapore is good by international standards, ranked sixth in the world by the World Health Organization in 2000. Singapore has one of the lowest rates of infant mortality (2.1 per 100 000 live births) and highest life expectancy (81.6 years) in the world (World Economic Forum, 2012–2013). The leading causes of morbidity and mortality are the major non-communicable diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease (Ministry of Health, 2013a). While Singapore's health and primary education systems are ranked among the best in terms of the ability to meet the needs of a competitive economy, the country contends with significant population and health challenges. This includes having one of the lowest fertility rates in the world (1.15 per female), growing divorce rates, and a rapidly aging population. Healthcare expenditure as a percentage of total government spending has risen from 6.7% in 2006 to 9.4% in 2012 (Ministry of Health, 2013b). Mental health expenditure constitutes less than 10% of healthcare expenditure and the burden of disease for mental health disorders is unlikely to change in the next decade. In a 2004 study (Phua et al., 2009) mental health disorders contributed to 11.8% of the overall burden of disease. In response to the increasing healthcare needs and challenges, mental health services in Singapore have evolved to shift the delivery of care from specialist hospital care and institutions to the community. To support the mental healthcare needs of children and adolescents, a community-based mental health service was inaugurated in 2007 to work closely with schools, physicians, and community agencies to help students below 19 years old with mental health problems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchool Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Challenges and Opportunities
EditorsStan Kutcher, Yifeng Wei, Mark D. Weist
PublisherCambridge University Press (Anthem Press)
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781107284241
ISBN (Print)9781107053908
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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