Singapore Mental Health Film Festival 2020 : Here’s The Full Guide

Singapore Mental Health Film Festival is coming on 10 October 2020. Here is the full guide on how you can join this event and take part to break the stigma around mental illness ! 
 The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to adapt to the “new normal” – where work, family, and relationships seemed to have taken a drastic turn. In particular, it has shed light and bring to the public’s awareness on some of the more invisible and vulnerable communities who face added and compounded stressors as a result of their unique circumstances and identity.

Singapore Mental Health Film Festival  2020 

As part of World Mental Health Day, Singapore Mental Health Film Festival will be screening films relating to these “invisible” communities. We will also have panel conversations surrounding the impact of the pandemic on mental health.
SMHFF will be joint together with Rendezvous with Madness Festival (Toronto, Canada) to co-present a screening and panel, in hopes to broaden perspectives on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on a global front.
SMHFF 2020
Making Visible the Invisible (image credit : SMHFF)

1. Elderly Mental Health 

The elderly is known to be vulnerable population that is prone to be the ill-effects of covid-19, and as a result of this, many community programmes have stalled in hopes to reduce potential opportunities for virus transmission. Community facilities have also likewise impose strict visitors quota and have significantly reduced socialising programmes. How about these safe-distancing measures impacted the mental health of our elderly – particularly those who are staying alone, and whom have been staying ‘active’ by participating in community events ? Does safe-distancing measures result in social isolation ? And what we can do to support the elderly and their caregivers ? 
Come See Me | Liu Bing Jie, 2019
Anita’s Nursing Home Stay | Lien Foundation, 2017
In this panel discussion, SMHFF aim to understand more broadly the range of mental health issues that are more prevalent in old age, and how the pandemic has affected the mental health of elderly – both in the community and in community facilities. SMHFF also aim to share more on the signs and symptoms of poor mental health amongst the elderly and how we can reach out to them. The panel will also discuss how familial relationships may be impacted as a result of stay-home measures, and will highlight community services are available for both the elderly and their caregivers.
Micki Sim | Senior Social Worker, Montfort Care
SMHFF 2020 : Elderly mental health
SMHFF 2020 : Elderly mental health (image credit : SMHFF)

2. Migrant Worker Mental Health 

“Migrant workers” have become the buzzword of COVID-19. It has arguably made visible the invisible, and has shed greater light on the structural problems, living conditions, and mental health of the thousands of workers living and working in Singapore. How do we perceive migrant workers in Singapore? Do we see them with suspicion and tension, or with empathy and compassion? Where do these ideas and biases come from
Bangla | Huiyi Idette Chen, 2018
In this panel discussion, SMHFF will dwell deeper to examine the relationship migrant workers have with Singaporeans, and how contrary to popular belief, we are more alike than we are different. SMHFF will also discuss the mental health of the migrant workers especially in light of the pandemic, and how we can, in our own domains, advocate for better protection and well-being.
Kari Tamura Chua | Co-Founder, SAMA SAMA
Edwin Soh | Social Worker, Here With You – Migrants’ Helpline
Rocky |  Migrant Worker 
Nelia Phoon | Producer, Bangla
SMHFF 2020 : Migrant workers x Mental Health
SMHFF 2020 : Migrant workers x Mental Health (image credit : SMHFF)

3. LGBTQ Mental Health 

The pandemic is a challenging time for many as it forces us to constantly adapt to the new norms of transitions. But for members of the LGBTQ+ community, being in quarantine presents additional layers of difficulty, particularly so for those who already have strained relations with their family. For many, the coronavirus have robbed them of access to safe spaces and supportive environments – most of which can only occur outside the domains of their home.
Hiding Birds | Danica Pablo, 2018
In this panel discussion, SMHFF aims to gain a better understanding of the general landscape of the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore, and to understand the various mental health stressors which may be disproportionately experienced by the community as a result of their group identities. In addition, SMHFF will discuss the potential impact the pandemic has on familial relationships, and how individuals (both LGBTQ+ persons and their family) navigate this sphere. SMHFF will also share support services which are available, and how we can in our own domains, advocate for greater mental well-being for the LGBTQ+ population.
Sia Ching Sian, Organizing Committee Member of Pink Dot
Leow Yangfa , Executive Director, Oogachaga 
Prof Khoo Hoon Eng , Parent, Co-Founder of SAFE Singapore 
Danica Pablo , Film-maker, Hiding Birds
SMHFF 2020 : LGBTQ x Mental Health

4. Sex Workers Mental Health 

Sex work is a legal paid form of labour both in Canada and Singapore, though many may not be aware. With safe distancing  and quarantine measures, many workers find themselves losing their main source of income as they struggle to make ends meet. This is often compounded with the stigma surrounding sex work which has negatively impacted their self-esteem and mental well-being.
Stray Dogs Come Out At Night | Hamza Bangash, 2020
In this panel discussion, SMHFF aims to understand more broadly the sex work industry both in Singapore and Canada, and to dispel common misconceptions surrounding it. SMHFF will also take the opportunity to re-examine our own values and biases surrounding the sex trade, and learn to appreciate that we are more similar than we are different. SMHFF also aims to discuss the impacts the pandemic has on the material needs and mental well-being of the workers, as well as the support services available – both in Singapore and Canada.
SMHFF 2020 : Sex worker x mental Health
The entire event will be live via  SMHFF Facebook Live 
Find out how you can help to destigmatise mental health issues in Singapore by supporting SMHFF work today at
Source : Singapore Mental Health Film Festival 


Covid-19 Pandemics have significant psychosocial impact and most of the time, someone with suicidal thoughts don’t reach out and speak up sooner.  Here’s why