‘Mental health literacy’ has been described as “knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management or prevention”. Research in many countries has shown that improving community mental health literacy is important in increasing appropriate help-seeking and improving the high level of unmet needs in the treatment of mental disorders.

The Research Division at IMH has embarked on a population based study entitled “Mind Matters: A study of Mental Health Literacy” to better understand the mental health literacy of the Singapore population. This study will generate actionable knowledge that will identify and help prioritize mental illnesses to be targeted for mental health promotion, identify existing gaps in mental health literacy as well as certain subgroups in the population that are particularly lacking in mental health literacy. This information can then be used to better inform future policies and interventions, specifically targeting these sub-groups, to improve mental health literacy in Singapore. Furthermore, this study will highlight beliefs about the helpfulness of specific interventions relating to mental illnesses, while at the same time, comparisons of knowledge and attitudes across five mental disorders will be made, highlighting whether certain illnesses are more easily recognized than others.  Mind Matters will be focusing specifically on five mental disorders; major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), alcohol abuse, schizophrenia and dementia. These disorders were specifically chosen based on several reasons including their prevalence, significant treatment gap, early age of onset and/or their adverse effects on quality of life.

 The aims of the Mind Matters study are to:

  • Conduct a national survey to assess recognition, beliefs pertaining to causes and treatment options, and outcomes for MDD, OCD, alcohol abuse, schizophrenia and dementia in Singapore.
  • Examine mental health literacy and its socio-demographic correlates in the adult resident population in Singapore.
  • Examine and compare the extent of stigma and social distancing for specific mental disorders.
  • This two-year S$1.0 million study is funded by the MOH Health Services Research Competitive Research Grant (HSR CRG).

​Principal Investigator: Assoc. Prof. Chong Siow Ann, Institute of Mental Health


  • Asst. Prof. Mythily Subramaniam, Institute of Mental Health
  • Ms Janhavi Vaingankar, Institute of Mental Health
  • Dr Edimansyah Abdin, Institute of Mental Health
  • Ms Louisa Picco, Institute of Mental Health
  • Mr Boon Yiang Chua, Institute of Mental Health
  • Ms Jenny AM Tay, Institute of Mental Health
  • Associate Professor Kwok Kian Woon, Nanyang Technological University​​