The Mental Health of Singaporeans



6.50pm:    All to be seated in Tembusu College Multi-purpose Hall

7.00pm:    Dr Kelvin Pang, Master of Tembusu College, will introduce the Tembusu Forum

7.05pm:    Professor Tommy Koh, Rector of Tembusu College, will introduce the topic and speakers

7.15pm:    Professor Kua Ee Heok, Tan Geok Yin Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience & Senior Consultant Psychiatrist,
                 Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS

7.30pm:    Assoc Professor Mythily Subramaniam, Director, Research Division, Institute of Mental Health

7.45pm:    Dr Ang Peng Chye, Managing Director, Centre for Effective Living

8.00pm:    Question & Answer session with students

8.50pm:    Concluding remarks by speakers and Chair

9.00pm:    End of forum



Professor Kua Ee Heok is Tan Geok Yin Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at National University of Singapore (NUS), as well as at Mind Care Clinic, Farrer Park Hospital. He was trained as a doctor at the University of Malaya, KL (1968-1973), and obtained his postgraduate training in psychiatry at Oxford University (1978-80) and geriatric psychiatry at Harvard University (1984).

Professor Kua is a member of the World Health Organisation team for the Global Study of Dementia. Formerly, he was Head of Psychological Medicine and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at NUS, as well as CEO and Medical Director at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore. He has published 370 research papers and 25 books on psychiatry, addiction & ageing, acted as editor of the Singapore Medical Journal and Asia-Pacific Psychiatry Journal, and editor-in-chief of a 6-volume Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book, published by Springer-Nature. Professor Kua is also the author of the novel Listening to Letter from America, which is used in a module on anthropology at Harvard University.

For the forum, Professor Kua’s talk will focus on 4 areas:

  1. Mental Health of the Nation – based on 2 community studies conducted a few years ago
  2. Campus Mental Health – based on 2 studies with medical students
  3. De-stigmatization of mental illness – what can we do?
  4. Mental Capital – building resilience of Tembusu College students.


Associate Professor Mythily Subramaniam graduated from Lady Hardinge Medical College, India. She received her PhD in Gambling Studies from Monash University and is currently Director of the Research Division and Lead Investigator of the Programme of Mental Health Policy Studies at the Institute of Mental Health. She also has a concurrent teaching appointment at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University Singapore.

Dr Mythily has worked in the field of mental health for more than 15 years, and her main academic and research interests include psychiatric epidemiology, psychosis, and addictions. She was the Co-Principal Investigator of two nation-wide studies – Singapore Mental Health Studies (2010 and 2016), that have established the prevalence of select mental disorders in the adult population of Singapore.

For the forum, Dr Mythily will share on the prevalence and correlates of mental disorders in Singapore’s population as established by SMHS 2016.


Dr Ang Peng Chye is a psychiatrist in private practice. He graduated from the University of Singapore with a MBBS in 1978. He pursued his postgraduate psychiatric training in UK and became a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1985. He is now a Fellow at the Royal College of Psychiatrist, UK. He runs a small boutique psychiatric practice, The Psychiatric and Behavioural Medicine Clinic, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, and a psychology and psychotherapy group, Centre for Effective Living, since 1987.

For the forum, Dr Ang will talk about the mental health of our children and young adults.


The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.