Singing out against mental health stigma
Ms Amanda Lee, 32, was pursuing a master's in counselling when she became depressed while struggling with her internship and relationship issues.
But shame stopped her from telling her family and seeking treatment.
"It was embarrassing for a counsellor to seek help from another counsellor. I did not want people to think I was crazy," said Ms Lee, who eventually did seek help.
An Institute of Mental Health (IMH) survey shows that over 40 per cent of people with mental illness have moderate to high self-stigma and internalise the negative attitudes of others towards them.
Ms Lee, a former Project SuperStar contestant, will perform at the Voice Out! Concert in the Park at the Botanic Gardens this evening, with Mandopop star Stefanie Sun as the headline act.
The concert marks World Mental Health Day on Tuesday and aims to increase awareness for mental health conditions.
Stigma towards mental illness is an issue in Singapore, says an IMH mental health literacy study, with half the respondents seeing mental illness as a personal weakness.
Dr Joel Foo, 38, a general practitioner at MedLife Clinic & Surgery and one of the composers of the concert theme song, said: "Stigma is the main factor deterring people with mental health conditions from seeking early treatment."
He said family support and intervention are crucial in ensuring mental health patients are treated early.
Mr Muhammad Nur Boontat said he tried to kill himself several times because of hallucinations.
He said: "I was living in the shadow of death every day."
Diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, he started singing to cope with his condition.
The 35-year-old, who is performing at the concert, said: "By stepping out, I hope people with mental health conditions will be more accepted."