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Institute of Mental Health Profile Image

Institute of Mental Health

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) is a 2,000-bed acute tertiary psychiatric hospital situated on a 23-hectare campus at Buangkok Green Medical Park. Set amidst serene surroundings, IMH offers a comprehensive range of psychiatric, rehabilitative and counselling services for children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly.

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Mental Health

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IMH’s tradition of care started in 1928. We were the first mental hospital in Singapore, starting with some 1,000 patients. Since then, many advances have been made in treatment, training, and research. Our treatment integrates evidence-based therapies, supported by the departments of clinical psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, and medical social work, to provide holistic care for our patients. IMH is equipped with modern facilities, with 50 wards for inpatients and seven Specialist Outpatient Clinics.

IMH also plays a key role in training the next generation of mental health professionals in Singapore. We train psychiatrists and mental health professionals through the NHG-AHPL Residency Programme for psychiatry and through collaborations with the local tertiary institutions.

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30 Sep 2018

If seeking mental health services in Singapore and you need to be admitted. I will highly recommend the Sayang Wellness Centre. However, it is private and you do not get a subsidy. Plus it costs about $240-$420/day depending on privacy, excluding treatment costs. If you can afford it, consider IMH's Sayang ward.

 

30 Sep 2018

The actual psychiatry help as an inpatient is almost non-existent. On the average day you wonder around the room with random patients screaming at you. At least once a day someone gets chained to their bed. You get to see the doctor once every day for around 15mins. As an outpatient turned inpatient, I wasn't able to choose my own doctor. This unknown doctor asked me questions an online mental disorder questionnaire would ask. Usually with answer that only require a yes/no. This doctor is the person that will grant you your escape of this hellhole.  

No electronics allowed. Lights out around 7-8pm (absolutely no roaming around, be on your bed or be chained to it). Access to the outside of the wards are not allowed unless you have a visitor. (you aren't even allowed if accompanied by a nurse).
Only allowed one phone call a day.
 

You are treated equally. Whether as a mentally challenged, bipolar, depressed, schizophrenic... Which is good and bad. They treat you like how they treat a mentally challenged; a child. You try to voice your opinion, you get ignored. You try to request for something rational, you get judged as an insane person. They do not care what your case is. They will not listen to you or take you seriously.
 

It's not all bad though, if you're below 18 there are games and activities around although you might be too drugged up to be fully conscious.

If you are above 18 there is a mood disorder unit (MDU) with pet therapies once a week.
 

Bottom line is, if you really need help, seek help as an outpatient. The therapists at IMH are very caring. They may not be as experienced as private hospitals (most are still studying) but at least they care and are not trying to push expensive drugs.

30 Sep 2018

The general consensus is that, IMH c class n b2 wards are not...ideal. Seriously. You just see the doctor once every few days and you have barely anyone to talk to. Your case manager only comes when u are about to be discharged.

Sayang wellness wing-good food, nice bed and facilities, you are allowed ur hp n stuff. But if u are suicidal, only b2 n c class wards(from what i was told). The daily routine of the ward was so banal, mundane and boring that i begged them to sedate me. I also requested for sleeping pills(had insomnia).

 

30 Sep 2018

For god's sake, don't land yourself in class C wards. You will definitely stay there for at least 2 weeks (standard protocol) which is ultimately hell as there is literally nothing to do. The higher classes are better equipped however you will still have to go to class C wards after you get better.

Literally, rows of beds wherever it can fit, even on hallways. You can choose whether or not to take sleeping pills if you're not a serious case. Going out needs the doctor's approval which you only see once a day. Usually only about 15 to 30mins of fresh air.

You only get to get out of the ward if you have visitors. looks like a waiting area at hospitals, that's about it.

30 Sep 2018

I had a friend who stayed in the Sayang ward. It was expensive, but the food was good and they had daily activities planned. If I recall correctly, there was a table tennis table, some gym equipment, a lot of books and also some console games.

Patients are basically allowed to do whatever during the day and they are afforded a lot more freedoms compared to other wards. My friend was actually allowed to keep his phone upon approval from his psychiatrist.

30 Sep 2018

There are staff at IMH who are genuinely nice and want to help you. 

If you encounter any nurses or doctors who are condescending towards you, which you most probably will (Dr Tor in the MDU, for instance), try not to take it personally. Remember that they're just there to keep eyes on you and make sure you don't harm yourself. Beyond that, there isn't much they can do to help you. You may meet some nice people who'd genuinely want to help you out, so stick to them and try not to let all the other shit get to you and bring you down.

The road to recovery is dependent on your willingness to get better and to commit yourself to the psychotherapy process (with the aid of pharmacotherapy if necessary).

 

30 Sep 2018

You don't decide to stay or not. In any case, if you are an inpatient in IMH, you will be clustered with other people who have different mental illnessness. You can't bring anything in except books. Visitation hours are quite flexible. Stay in is not recommended!

30 Sep 2018

I was warded in IMH for 32 nights in Oct-Nov last year, 31 of which were spent in the Mood Disorder Unit (MDU).

You get up early in the morning and take your medication and breakfast. Then you sit around in the day space and do whatever. Chat with people, watch TV (usually choped by the elderly there), stare into space, stare at the visitors and med students observing you as if you were an animal behind a glass in a zoo, read a book (I managed to read five during my stay there). There are some group sessions scheduled for afternoons such as Occupational Therapy and Art Therapy which you can choose to attend if you want to.

My experience there wasn't all that great and I ended up having another suicide attempt a little over a month after being discharged. However, I've heard of people benefiting greatly from their stay there, so your mileage may vary and going to IMH for help is something I would recommend. 

14 Sep 2018

This is a sad fact about IMH. They simply do not have professional and empathetic mental health doctors. From my experience and people that I know, the various doctors we have seen are very unhelpful. I had to beg my doctor to first give me therapy before starting antidepressants. IMH is one institution that needs to go through some major reform and MOH needs to regulate and evaluate the staff who work here. It is simply not acceptable that the only govt option for mental health services is way below the 'Singaporean standard' for healthcare. 

If you can afford, I recommend seeking a private therapist. 

14 Sep 2018

There is no stability for patients who see a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. At every appointment, they have changed my doctors and it upsets me greatly that they can't provide me with the same healthcare professional each time. I don't think this helps patients in their recovery. 

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