My letter on the above subject is published in The New Paper today, Thursday 11 December 2014.
Two lives could have been saved if only treatment of Ms Andrea Tay’s mental illness was sought, and I fully concur with the views of psychiatrists Dr Thomas Lee and Dr Lim Boon Leng as reported in “5 minutes of fury & frenzy” (The New Paper, Dec 4).
One of the biggest obstacles to mental illness recovery is when the patient or even the caregivers are in denial of a loved one’s mental illness.
In addition, myths and misconceptions surrounding mental illness often prevents caregivers from seeking professional help for their stricken ones.
But the good news is that with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both, most people with mental disorders can lead normal lives.
It is imperative that the family finds sources of support. With the Ministry of Social and Family Development now rolling out more programmes for caregivers, the journey in caring for loved ones with mental illness is going to be much smoother.
The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) has a competent team that can help to stabilise patients. It also has a community psychiatry department to monitor their outpatient treatment.
Indeed, it would be most helpful if friends, grassroots leaders and religious groups play a supporting role so that the mentally ill and their caregivers will not feel alone.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO