How we came about

Ms Jean Singleton Liechty, J.D. founded Silver Ribbon Coalition.

Ms Sally Choo, Ms Helen Lee and Ms Porsche Poh co-founded Silver Ribbon (Singapore). With Jean’s kind consent, Silver Ribbon (Singapore) registered with Registry of Singapore on 21 Dec 2005 (ROS No 2210/2005).

Source: TODAY, 23 Sep 2005

The Former President of Singapore, S R Nathan, launched Silver Ribbon (Singapore) on 4 Feb 2006.

Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness: it is vital to individuals, families and societies.

It is described by the World Health Organisation as:
"... a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."

In this positive sense, mental health is the foundation for the well-being and effective functioning of Individuals and communities.

The latest mental health study led by Institute of Mental Health reported on 11 Dec 2018 reported that

  • one in seven people in Singapore have experienced a mental disorder such as bipolar disorder or alcohol abuse in their lifetime, an increase from roughly one in eight several years ago;

  • Depression was the most common mental disorder, with one in 16 people in Singapore having the condition at some point in their lives;

  • One in 24 people experienced alcohol abuse; and

  • One in 28 people suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder.

Stigma that surrounds mental illness often prevents people from seeking treatment and the consequences of untreated mental illness can be shattering, leading to unnecessary disability, homelessness, unemployment, incarceration and even suicide. Silver Ribbon (Singapore) believes that the earlier an illness is detected and treated, the better the treatment outcome.

Exactly what is stigma? Stigma means a mark or sign of shame, disgrace of disapproval, of being shunned or rejected by others. It emerges when people feel uneasy or embarrassed to talk about behaviour they perceive as different.

Discrimination and misconceptions remain among the most significant barriers to people with mental illness being able to actively participate in the community and gain access to the services they need. Also, it is not only people with mental illness who experience discriminations and stigma. Rejection of people with mental illness inevitably spills over to the caregivers and family members.

Therefore, since its inception, Silver Ribbon (Singapore) organises mental health events regularly and commemorates World Mental Health Day annually, collaborating with local & overseas mental health organizations, consumers, caregivers, corporates, government agencies, grassroots organizations, religious groups, school institutions, social service agencies and media to reach out to the community of all age groups through innovative means.