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In Singapore, the prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is steadily on the rise, with even more cases remaining undetected and undiagnosed. Recent statistics also show a growing trend of suicidal ideation amongst millennials arising from MDD. Despite efforts by the Singapore Government to address this concern, social stigma towards MDD remains one of the greatest barriers to help-seeking behavior in millennials. This is reflected in the significant 12-month treatment gap of 73% for MDD. That, in turn, has profoundly dire consequences on those afflicted, their families and friends, and Singapore at large.
This paper is informed by discussions with multiple stakeholders including psychiatrists, policy-makers and millennials afflicted with MDD; and is reinforced by media reports and journal articles.
It recommends a three-pronged approach that tackles every level of society – digitalizing individual anonymity with community support groups, delivering Depression First Aid courses for families and friends, and developing a collective narrative in Singapore society.
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