HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

One year into the pandemic: Singaporeans bogged down by anxiety; fear

A new survey has revealed that nine out of 10 Singaporean workers are struggling with mental health issues.

Fears over income loss and job stability has nine out of 10 Singaporeans reporting mental health declines a year into the pandemic, according to a new survey by AIA Singapore.

In the latest AIA Health Matters Survey 2021, the study polled over 300 Singaporeans aged 30 to 55 across a spectrum of working adults that were representative of the resident population.

Around 60% of respondents were deeply concerned about the added burden of other critical illness diagnosis such as cancer.

The past year also saw an increase in diagnosis concerns for critical illnesses (+10% compared to 2016), with cancer being the most pressing concern for 73% of respondents. There is also a substantial increase in stroke concerns, from 60% in 2016 to 68% in 2021. Amongst mental health conditions, Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorders were revealed to be the most prevalent.

Meanwhile, the majority of the male respondents who are breadwinners stated that they are more likely to report when they are facing mental health and critical illness conditions compared to women. Millennials (aged 30-39) reported higher stress coping with daily stressors at work as compared to pre-retirees (aged 40 and above).

Millennials are especially worried about cancer compared to older adults.

Insights on Singaporeans’ ownership of critical illness plans revealed another issue: mental health stigma still exists in society, which may stand in the way of ensuring adequate protection. Because of this stigma, while insurance plans with mental health coverage are available in the market, only 18% reported that their critical illness plans or riders include mental health coverage. Amongst the different demographic groups surveyed, men and millennials are more willing to take up more extensive insurance plans such as those that include mental health coverage.

“While our nation is heading for a post-pandemic recovery, mentally, we are still trying to navigate our way out of COVID-19 uncertainities. It is not enough to only take care of our physical health. This conviction drives our holistic approach to protect the many aspects of our customers’ wellbeing – such as financial, physical, and mental health – to enable everyone to truly lead healthier, longer, better lives,” Wong Sze Keed, chief executive officer of AIA Singapore said.

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