Monday, July 23, 2012

Mental health care, right at home

For families who face difficulties in coaxing seniors with mental illnesses to seek help, a pilot programme launched yesterday could help these seniors get the required support services in the comfort of their homes.

Called the Temasek Cares- iCommunity@North programme, the $1.1-million initiative offers mental-health services for residents in Admiralty, Marsiling, Sembawang, Woodlands and Yishun.

The services include counselling and referring residents to health-care partners for follow-up.

Dedicated teams will be offering these services to residents.

Residents can come under the programme through referrals by polyclinics, general practitioners, hospitals and community service providers in the northern part of Singapore.

The programme - run by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, O'Joy Care Services, Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society and the Agency for Integrated Care - also allows patients with mental illnesses to seek follow-up care in their homes.

Weekly meetings will be held at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to discuss the treatment and course of action most appropriate for patients.

As it is still a pilot, the initiative will be fully subsidised by Temasek Cares, an institution set up by Temasek Holdings that looks into the needs of underprivileged people. When the subsidies will end has not been decided yet.

There are plans to roll out the initiative to the entire country, with the central region to adopt the programme within the next year.

Dr Amy Khor, Minister of State for Health, said yesterday that the programme will improve the integration of the mentally ill into the community.

"The health-care landscape in Singapore needs to transform to meet the challenges of our ageing population," she said at the programme's official launch at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

By 2030, one in five Singaporeans will be aged 65 or older.

The number of seniors with dementia - a mental disorder - is expected to increase to 80,000, more than two times the current number of 28,000.

Dr Philip Yap, senior geriatrician consultant of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, said that delivering mental-health-care services to the patient's home is more effective than having patients make trips to the hospital.

He explained that going into the homes of patients "will help us fully understand the situation and meet the patient's needs where they really need them".

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...