Where to Find Mental Health Resources And Affordable or Free Counselling in Singapore (2022)
Here are some statistics about mental health in Singapore that might interest you.
According to a survey of 6,126 participants from 15,900 randomly selected Singapore residents done by the Institute of Mental Health (Singapore), one in seven people in Singapore has suffered from a mood, anxiety or alcohol use disorder in their lifetime.
More startling is the estimate that roughly 18 per cent of youth in Singapore are suffering from depression.
In 2020, the Samaritans Of Singapore (SOS) reported these facts about suicide:
- 452 lives were lost to suicide in 2020, this is the highest number of suicides since 2012
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for those aged 10-29
- There are five times more deaths from suicide than transport accidents in 2020
- Males account for more than 70% of all suicides in 2020
- For every suicide, at least 6 suicide survivors are left behind
This means that suicide has claimed 12 times more lives in 2020 compared to COVID-19.
In an interview with The Straits Times, SOS CEO Gasper Tan said that ‘Covid-19 has severely affected the nation’s economy, lifestyle and mental health. We are extremely worried about how our elderly are coping during this public health crisis.’
These numbers weren’t thrown out just to scare you, but to tell you that mental health problems are close and real. We hope that you do not reach the point of feeling suicidal before seeking help because you might be worried about the cost.
As such, we have put together this list of places where you can seek help for free or at affordable prices or point a friend/family member in the right direction.
TL;DR: Guide to Affordable or Free Counselling in Singapore (2021)
|Where To Get Help||Estimated Cost|
|Online Counselling Chats|
|School Counselling (Universities & Polytechnics)||Free for students|
|Student Counsellors||$25 - $40 per session
|Family Service Centres & Voluntary Welfare Organisations||$80 - $100
|Polyclinic, General Practitioners||$37 - $40
(for subsidised Psychiatric treatment)
Before we begin it is important for you to be aware of these suicide risk factors and warning signs to spot in yourself or your friends/family so you can either look to seek help or intervene.
SOS has identified the following risk factors:
- Previous attempt or family history of suicide
- Mental health conditions
- Serious or chronic health conditions
- Distressing life events
(divorce, job loss, death of close ones, etc.)
- Prolonged stress factors
(bullying, abuse, unemployment, etc.)
Also here are some warning signs you need to be aware of:
- “My family will be better off without me”
- “My life is meaningless anyway”
- “If you don’t love me, I’ll kill myself”
- Giving away treasured possessions and saying goodbye
- Researching suicide methods
- Writing suicide notes (including emails/diaries/blogs)
- Emotional outbursts
(anger, sadness, irritability, recklessness)
- Loss of interest
- Humiliation or anxiety
With that out of the way here is the list.
1. Dial A Helpline
Immediate help is just a phone call away and most of these hotlines even operate for 24 hours a day.
|AWARE||Women's helpline for assistance with various concerns, offering empathy, support, information and encouragement||(Mon - Fri) 10am - 6pm except for public holidays||1800 777 5555|
|Sexual assault care centre helpline for those or someone you know has faced sexual assault or harassment||(Mon - Fri) 10am - 6pm except for public holidays||6779 0282|
|Care Corner Counselling Centre||Mandrin counselling hotline service for those struggling with:|
-Grief and loss
-Mental health challenges
-Pre-marital and marital issues
|(Daily) 10am - 10pm except for public holidays||1800 3535 800|
|Credit Counselling Singapore||National CARE Hotline (NCH) for any issues like with your personal and family lives, jobs or debt problems||(Daily) 8am - 12am||1800 202 6868|
|Institute Of Mental Health’s Mental (IMH)||Mental Health Helpline to address any mental health issues||24-hour hotline||6389 2222|
|Samaritans of Singapore||Suicide hotline where trained volunteers provide round the clock emotional support for those in distress||24-hour hotline||1-767|
|Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)||Contact for further support or information on mental health issues||(Mon – Fri) 9am to 1pm | 2 – 6pm||1800 283 7019|
|Tinkle Friend||Helpline that provides counselling support for children||(Mon – Fri) 2.30pm – 5pm||1800 2744 788|
|TOUCH Community Services||TOUCHline that provides counselling support for Youth||(Mon – Fri) 9am – 6pm||1800 377 2252|
2. Online Counselling
If picking up a phone is too intimidating, there are some free online chat platforms to consider.
for people who may feel more comfortable expressing themselves and sharing their problems in writing. This opens up the doors of help to people who are deterred by the inconvenience or fear of going to a counselling centre.
Online counsellors for quick chats are available from Mondays to Fridays, 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 5pm.
Otherwise, you can make a one-hour appointment with a consistent counsellor in a chatroom.
Alternatively, you can try Community Psychology Hub’s (CPH) online counselling platform that helps Singaporeans and/or residents of Singapore who are at least 18 years of age, with marital or divorce or parenting-related issues.
The live chat is available from Mondays – Fridays, 9am – 6pm (except public holidays).
If you have an issue outside of these hours, you could always email them.
Simply contact them at the following numbers to arrange for a free online counselling session.
Address: Blk 208 Serangoon Central, #01-238, Singapore 550208
Telephone: 6386 1928
Address: Wisma Geylang Serai, 1 Engku Aman Turn Level 4, Singapore 408528
Telephone: 6509 0271
Address: Blk 550 Hougang Street 51, #01-168, Singapore 530550
Telephone: 6385 3714
3. Student Counselors and Free Counselling For Students
In the early stages of life, time and relationship management may induce a whirlpool of emotions for a young individual.
Trained counsellors are available in all schools in Singapore. Otherwise, teachers and tutors are always around to act as the first line of help and support.
Something we found out from our community was that James Cook University (JCU) also has an in-house psychology clinic that opens its access to the public.
Psychological treatment or psychotherapy is offered at minimal cost by JCU Singapore students who are completing post-graduate practical training at the JCU Singapore Psychology Clinic to qualify as Clinical Psychologists.
You can get treatment for a wide range of emotional, behavioural and cognitive challenges you might be suffering from
Charges are at a modest fee from $25 to $40 and you can call in to enquire about a full waiver which is granted on a case to case basis.
Email: [email protected]
Hotline: +65 6709 3762
Free Counselling For Students in Singapore
|National University of Singapore||Address: |
University Health Centre, Level 2
20 Lower Kent Ridge Road
(Mon – Wed) 8.30am-6pm
(Thur) 8.30am - 5pm
(Fri) 8.30am - 5.30pm
Contact: 6516 2376
Support Hotline: 6516 7777
|Free for students|
|Nanyang Technological University||Address: |
University Health Service
36 Nanyang Avenue
(Mon – Thur) 8.30am-5.45pm
(Fri) 8.30am - 5.15pm
Contact: 6790 4462
Support Hotline (outside office hours): 9721 1637
|Free for undergraduates and graduates|
|Singapore Management University||Address:|
Student Wellness Centre
Li Ka Shing Library
81 Victoria Street
(Mon – Thur) 9.30am-5.30pm
(Fri) 9.30am - 3.30pm
Contact: 6828 0786
|Free for students|
180 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8
Block A, Level 2
(Mon – Thur) 8.30am-5.30pm
(Fri) 8.30am - 5pm
For first-time appointment booking of a Counselling Session
- Access the Appointment form
- Email [email protected]
|Free for students|
|Ngee Ann Polytechnic||Address:
Ngee Ann Polytechnic
535 Clementi Road
Student & Alumni Services Office
Blk 22, Level 3
(Mon – Thur) 8.30am-6pm
(Fri) 8.30am - 5.30pm
|Republic Polytechnic (e-Counselling till further notice due to COVID)||Address:
9 Woodlands Avenue
Block W1, Student Care Centre (SCC)
(Mon – Fri) 8.30am-6pm (except public holidays)
500 Dover Road
(Mon – Fri) 8am-5.30pm
21 Tampines Avenue 1
Blk 26B, Level 1, Unit 49
(Mon – Fri) 8.30am-5.30pm (except public holidays)
4. Family Service Centres (FSC)
Family Service Centres (FSCs) are staffed by social service professionals who are based in the community to provide help and support to individuals and families in need.
You can visit these centres before deciding if you need more in-depth therapy by psychologists or psychiatrists.
Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA)
Social workers and counsellors at AWWA work with families and individuals to help them cope with their challenges such as marital issues, family conflicts, family violence, financial difficulties and caregiver stress in various life stages.
Family Service Centres Singapore (E.g. Fei Yue)
You can also walk in or book an appointment with Fei Yue and other organisations’ many family service centres.
You can find a comprehensive list of family service centres all around Singapore here.
5. Non-Profit Voluntary Social Service Organisations (SSOs)
There are also non-profit social service organisations (SSOs) providing support.
Shan You Counselling Centre
Shan You also provides professional counselling and social support services based on the principles of Compassion and Loving-Kindness, to the community regardless of race, religion or ability to pay.
An individual counselling session is about 50 to 60 minutes in duration while a couple/family counselling session is about 60 to 75 minutes in duration.
Individual Counselling services are charged at about $80 a session.
Couple/Family Counselling services are charged at $100 a session.
*A time surcharge of $20 is applicable for every additional 15-minute counselling time block. and an evening surcharge of $20 is applicable for every counselling session scheduled at or after 6PM onwards.
Also, you can apply for additional counselling fee subsidies (for session fees only and up to 6 counselling sessions) which are available and based on a financial assessment.
All applications for additional counselling fee subsidy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and subjected to approval at the sole discretion of Shan You Management.
TOUCH Family Support
TOUCH provides counselling services primarily on pre-marital/marital issues, parenting challenges, domestic violence, emotional and mental distress as well as management of interpersonal relationships.
They charge about $80 to $100 per session with a subsidised rate available for individuals with a Household Per Capita Monthly Income below $2,800.
A surcharge of $20 applies for appointments outside office hours. Payment can be made in cash or via QR code payment.
Office hours are from Monday – Fridays, 9am – 6pm.
Block 162 Bukit Merah Central
+65 6377 0122
6. Polyclinics and General Practitioners (GP)
Visiting a polyclinic or GP can analyse your health problems better and also give you subsidised professional treatment should you need more in-depth psychiatric help at hospitals.
To be a subsidised patient, you have to get a referral from a doctor at a polyclinic (consultations cost around $10.70) or GP.
Following that, you can get treatment at IMH which costs $40 for a first consultation if you are a subsidised patient and $37 for subsequent consultations.
You can book an online appointment here.
Mental Health Issues: Subsidies Available And How To Navigate Through The Financial Costs
If you are worried about the costs.
Do take a look at our guide to the subsidies available for mental health treatment:
For More Serious Cases
Also here are some places where you can seek more immediate help for mental health ailments.
Professional psychiatric from psychiatrists is available from institutions such as the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), General Hospitals like the National University Hospital (NUH) and so on.
It is also noteworthy that most places that provide counselling services have free trials or free first time sessions.
This may be a good way to see if you need more professional, medical help or if you should commit to a counsellor.
If you have any personal questions on mental health and the associated costs, why not head on over and post anonymously on Seedly.
The myriad of helpful advice given there is a testament to how you are not alone in this, and you can always seek help anytime.