Mental and emotional health is as important as physical health and should not be neglected nor ignored. Some women may experience depression during pregnancy or following childbirth, while another may have emotional symptoms related to menopause, such as depression, anxiety and insomnia. Like adults, children and adolescents can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, and act.
At KKH, Psychological Medicine (formerly Mental Wellness Service) provides a holistic and comprehensive range of services to meet the emotional needs of children, adolescents and women.
Multidisciplinary Team Approach With the aim of providing holistic care, a multidisciplinary team approach will be used according to the needs of each individual patient.
The professionals that may be involved comprise:
Additionally, the service works in close liaison with the obstetric and gynaecological specialists, paediatricians and other allied health professionals.
KKH Department of Psychological Medicine The vision and mission of KKH Department of Psychological Medicine is to support KKH, to lead in excellent, holistic and compassionate care for Women and Children through:
Clinical care will be complemented by research and dissemination of important findings that emerge across the field of women's mental health. Develop and advance the field of women’s and children’s mental health, and contribute to the academic knowledge and capabilities of healthcare professionals.
Women's Mental Wellness Service
Women with the following conditions can expect to be provided with the highest level of personalised care:
Psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum ( e.g. depression, anxiety)
Although pregnancy has typically been considered a time of emotional well-being, studies suggest that up to 20% of women suffer from mood or anxiety disorders during pregnancy and after delivery.
For most, the symptoms are mild and short-lived (postnatal blues); however, about 10-15% of postnatal women develop more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Particularly vulnerable are those women with histories of psychiatric illness, previous pregnancy-related disorders, difficult childhood experiences and marital problems. Left untreated, psychiatric illness can affect the well-being of the mother and growing fetus, and affect the ability of the afflicted mother to bond with her child.
It has been shown that children of depressed mothers are at risk of being slower intellectually and emotionally. With appropriate treatment, which may include medications that are compatible with pregnancy and breastfeeding, the afflicted woman can recover, and regain optimal functioning to prepare for the birth, and to care for her baby.
If you need information or advice about getting help for postnatal depression, drop us an email at
email@example.com. We will reply within 3 to 5 working days.
Psychiatric disorders related to infertility and assisted reproduction
Infertility can affect a woman’s sense of well-being, and the stress of undergoing infertility treatments can be immense, often experienced as an emotional roller-coaster ride. Depression and anxiety can often set in, and this in turn can possibly lower the chances of conception. Therapy, counselling, and where necessary, medication, can be provided to enable the woman to overcome her emotional difficulties, and cope better.
Psychiatric disorders related to pregnancy loss (abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth)
Women who have had a pregnancy loss, whether intentional or not, are at an increased risk of depression, and other emotional symptoms. Often, these psychological issues will resurface again during a subsequent pregnancy.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (depression during the premenstrual period)
Many women in their reproductive years experience transient physical and emotional changes around the time of their period; usually, these symptoms are mild and tolerable. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of premenstrual syndrome affecting about 5% of women in their reproductive years, and is characterized by more significant premenstrual mood disturbance.
Symptoms include irritability, depressed mood, anxiety, as well as the usual physical symptoms. These symptoms emerge one to two weeks preceding menses and resolve completely with the onset of menses, and result in marked social or occupational impairment, especially in interpersonal functioning. With appropriate treatment, women can expect to be relieved.
The menopause transition and depression
Not uncommonly, women who are experiencing menopause can experience physical symptoms as well as emotional symptoms, such as depression, anxiety and insomnia. For those with prominent emotional symptoms, psychological therapy and medication can be beneficial in alleviating the distress.
Child and Adolescent Mental Wellness Service
The Child and Adolescent Mental Wellness Service is an ambulatory and liaison consultative service to cater for internal referrals only.
For now, only internal referrals are accepted, and cases include psychiatric disorders such as:
REACH East Service
Response Early intervention and Assessment in Community mental Health (REACH)
REACH is a community-based mental health service set up to work closely with schools, community agencies and family doctors to help students with emotional, behavioural and/or developmental disorders. REACH aims to improve response time and offer front-line support to youths in the community.
As mental health professionals, the REACH multi-disciplinary team, comprising medical doctors, clinical psychologists, medical social workers, occupational therapists, nurses and administrators, support school counselors by providing consultation and assessment services to students within the schools. Piloted in 2007 in the North, the REACH team comprises North, South, East and West teams to service students in schools under Ministry of Education (MOE) registration from Primary 1 to Junior College. Each REACH team is designated to each zone under the MOE school allocation of North, South, East and West zones respectively.
When a student is identified to possibly have a mental health condition, a referral to REACH is done. The Full Time School Counsellor from schools can call the Helpline to triage the case and receive feedback to best help the student and family. Similarly, social workers and psychologists from Voluntary Welfare Organisations and SPED schools who are currently REACH partners working with children and youth, may call the REACH Helpline.
Where needed, an on-site clinical interview is conducted. Information from at least one parent or caregiver, as well as gathering of input from teachers in the school, is vital in understanding the needs and problems the student is facing. Following that, a clinical formulation of the case is shared with the school, and a plan with strategies is communicated to caregivers and FTSC. In the event the student or family needs emotional and behavioral support, the REACH team collaborates with school counselors to provide suitable school-based interventions.
Through the years, child mental health services evolved to being decentralized and being more accessible. KKH REACH East supports students with mental health conditions studying in the eastern cluster of schools.
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