About Mental Illness

CAL’s C2C Education Programme is a training programme providing comprehensive coverage about mental illness and recovery. It is recommended that caregivers attend the programme for better understanding on how to help their loved ones manage the challenges of living with a mental disorder.

What is mental illness?

The moods, thoughts, and behaviour of persons with mental illness may be bewildering to their caregivers. Mental Illnesses are medical conditions linked to chemical imbalances in the brain that affect the person’s feelings, thinking, functioning and relationships. As with physical illnesses, persons with mental illness find it more difficult to cope with life’s daily challenges.

Serious mental illnesses include Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Borderline Personality Disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or socio-economic level. Mental illness is not due to personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illness is a brain disorder that is treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

What are the common mental disorders?

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a persistent mood disorder with recurring episodes of mania and depression. A manic state can be identified by feelings of extreme irritability …. Read more

Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physical health. Read more …


Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent panic attacks – an uncontrollable and terrifying response to ordinary, non-threatening situations. Read more …

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that is characterised by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour. Read more …


Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. Read More…


Psychosis is a mental state common to various mental disorders such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. Read more …

Mental Illness in Singapore

Below are key findings from the Singapore Mental Health Study conducted by the Institute of Mental Health in 2010.
Below are some key findings:

  1. The top three most common mental disorders are Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Alcohol abuse, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is 1 in 17, 1 in 32, and 1 in 33 respectively. This means that one person out of seventeen has MDD, one person out of thirty-two has Alcohol Use Disorder, and one out of thirty-three has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at some time during their life.
  2. Age, gender, ethnicity, education, and employment are factor linked with the prevalence of mental illness.
  3. Most mental disorders occur by the age of 29.
  4. Most people with mental illness do not seek help.

The prevalence of mental illness indicate that a large number of caregivers need support in caring for their loved ones. Caregivers Alliance Limited aims to reach out to these caregivers, to provide training and support; so that they can become more empowered in helping their loved ones to recover.

An article on Mental Illness by Chang Ai-Lien, The Straits Times on 19 Nov 2011 provides more information about Mental Illness in Singapore.


Article Name
About Mental Illness
What are the common mental disorders
Caregivers Alliance Limited