We’ve been getting some really awesome questions from readers and thought it’ll be good to share them here with you in our new segment — “Unravelled”.
We hope that by addressing these questions, we unravel some of the misconceptions towards mental illness, and by doing so, encourage insight and early treatment.
If you have a mental health question that needs unravelling, please write to us at thetapestryproject.sg (at) gmail (dot) com
**Our answers are based on our experiences and understanding of the existing mental health system through our collaborations with mental health alliances in Singapore. This segment is not meant to replace professional consultation.**
I suspect I might be having depression. Do I need to get diagnosed by a doctor and would my medical records be revealed to my family and employer? – Shixian*
Thanks so much for reaching out, Shixian. I’m glad you asked.
Many of us are hesitant in seeking medical help for fear that our diagnosis might go on record. Therefore, the issue of confidentiality is a commonly raised question. Oftentimes, it becomes an obstacle that prevents us from getting the help we need.
All medical notes, be it for physical or mental health, will always be kept solely between you and your doctor. It is entirely up to you whether or not to disclose your medical history or diagnosis to your family and employer (current or future).
In other words, nobody can access your medical records without your permission.
The only situation where you would be mandated to reveal your medical history is when the judicial system requests for it, which will occur if you commit a criminal offence.
Getting diagnosed by a GP or psychiatrist is the first step towards recovery. If you feel that you’d like to speak with a counsellor anonymously instead, you can access free counselling services by Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Silver Ribbon Singapore (SRS).
CHAT also offers free mental health assessments, if you are between 16 to 30 years of age.
We’ve consolidated some help resources too, so do check them out here.
Thanks again for writing to us, Shixian, and do let us know how else we can support you. Wishing you all the best in your recovery journey!
– The Tapestry Team
*not her actual name