Published on 05 November 2019
Mr Christopher de Souza
MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what support is available where a young person who stays in a residential home experiences an acute mental health episode that is beyond the residential home's capabilities but is not so serious as to meet a hospital's admission criteria.
1 Children and young persons (CYPs) may be referred by MSF or ordered by the Youth Court to reside in licensed Homes operated by social service agencies (SSAs). Such CYPs generally continue to attend school and participate in activities in the community.
2 Where there are mental health concerns, these CYPs are supported by school counsellors and/or MSF psychologists, together with the care team of the Homes. There are also multidisciplinary Response, Early Intervention, Assessment in Community Mental Health teams to strengthen the ability of schools and SSAs to identify and support CYPs with mental health concerns and to make appropriate referrals.
3 Where the mental health concerns are more severe, the CYPs may be referred to medical institutions such as the Child Guidance Clinic run by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), where they may receive outpatient treatment, such as psychotherapy, or be admitted for inpatient treatment. Before the CYPs are discharged, caseworkers in the Homes engage the relevant medical professionals to formulate post-discharge care plans such as follow-up treatment and safety planning.
4 MSF will continue to work closely with other Government agencies, SSAs, schools and the community to ensure that CYPs in residential Homes are appropriately supported for their mental well-being.