PAP launches new mental health initiative with emotional video featuring Chan Chun Sing, Sun Xueling, & Wan Rizal

"Let's be a voice of encouragement to each other. Let us build each other up," said Sun.

Andrew Koay | April 30, 2022, 04:54 PM

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The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has introduced a new initiative aimed at raising support and awareness for mental health.

The initiative, named #BetterTogether, hopes to spark a change in attitudes towards poor mental health by soliciting ideas for collective action and encouraging social media users to publish positive notes.

According to the PAP, 13.4 per cent of Singaporeans suffer from poor mental health.

1 in 5 youths reported poor or very poor mental well-being, the PAP notes.

"We believe that our society will be better when we recognise the crippling effects of mental health issues on any member of our community, and take collective action to make a change," reads a statement on the PAP's website.

PAP MPs express vulnerabilities

It was launched with an emotionally-tinged video featuring reflections from Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing, Minister of State for Education and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Jalan Besar Wan Rizal Wan Zakaria.

"We get some very unkind comments online. They are attacks on us, our family," said Chan.

"They can really hurt."

Cutting between lines from all three politicians, the video painted a picture of how they sometimes experienced challenges to their mental health.

"There are moments where even a strong person has to nurse the wounds," said Wan Rizal, who has posed several questions related to mental health in parliament over his tenure as an MP.

Wan Rizal has asked several questions related to Image from the PAP's Facebook

"Let's be a voice of encouragement to each other. Let us build each other up," added Sun.

Sun Xueling speaks on the pressure of being a parliamentarian. Image from the PAP's Facebook

Video by Royston Tan

The video appeared to be directed by renowned Singaporean film-maker Royston Tan.

Chan said in his latest Facebook post that "filming this video was outside of my comfort zone".

However, he was surprised "how a personal chat with Royston Tan on mental health sparked such an intimate video".

"More importantly, we want more Singaporeans to know that mental health can affect anyone", he said.

National mental well-being office

During the 2022 Budget debates, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said that the Interagency Taskforce on Mental Health and Well-being was considering setting up a national mental well-being office.

Those who would like to take part in the #BetterTogether initiative can do so by:

  • sharing a positive note on social media with the #BetterTogether hashtag
  • looking for resources on MindSG
  • sending ideas for collective action to [email protected]

More information on #BetterTogether can be found here.


If you or someone you know are in mental distress, here are some hotlines you can call to seek help, advice, or just a listening ear:

SOS 24-hour Hotline: 1-767

Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019

Institute of Mental Health: 6389-2222 (24 hours)

Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 (for primary school-aged children)

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Top image from PAP's website