A Letter from EMCC Executive Director

As more people than ever experience stress and anxiety, EMCC’s mission is even more important today. EMCC Executive Director Jeannie Chiu explains.


After almost two years of learning to live with Covid-19, some of us have almost forgotten what it was like during the Circuit Breaker when large swathes of the economy were shut down in Singapore.

But many people haven’t forgotten because their lives changed irrevocably as businesses were affected and families came under terrible strain.

Financial pressures grew as sole breadwinners lost jobs. Staff in the travel, entertainment and restaurant industries underwent huge mental adjustments as they started working in entirely unfamiliar sectors. Others could not find any employment for long periods.

Those who kept their jobs also found their marriages under terrible strain. They struggled to carve out office spaces in their small homes, and time to supervise their young children in home-based learning at the same time. Older relatives could not be visited.

In the midst of all the stress and anxiety, EMCC’s mission to support individuals and families with their mental resilience and emotional well-being has become even more relevant.

Recently, the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) released the findings of a study they had conducted during the period May 2020 – June 2021. While detailed analysis of the data is still ongoing, preliminary findings show that 13% of the general population in Singapore experienced depression or anxiety symptoms during that time.

The top 3 sources of stress were:

  • risk of family members or friends getting infected by Covid-19
  • financial loss, such as losing work opportunities or having to take unpaid leave
  • unemployment


In a separate report by suicide prevention charity, Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), Singapore reported 452 suicides in 2020, the highest number reported since 2012.

Across all age groups, there was a marked increase from 2019:

  • For youths aged 10 to 29 years old, suicide deaths increased by 7%.
  • For middle-aged adults aged 30 to 59 years old, suicide deaths increased by 7%.
  • For elderly adults aged 60 and above, suicide deaths reached 154 deaths, a 26% increase.


A strong healthy marriage creates an environment that is beneficial to and supportive of children. EMCC continues to help couples to strengthen their marriages. In 2020, some 180 people benefited from our marriage journey programmes such as the Marriage Preparation and Seven Principles programmes, and couple therapy training in the Gottman Method.

In 2020, we conducted almost 1,500 counselling sessions, of which 4 out of every 5 sessions were at subsidised rates or over 85% of our clients.

As such, revenue from our services covers only a fraction of our budget. Government grants cover about half of our overall operating costs and private donations make up the rest. (For more details about our finances, please visit https://emcc.org.sg/media/annual-report/.)

If you can, please make a donation to support our work.

EMCC is a registered charity and IPC so your donation will qualify for a 250% tax deduction (2.5 times your donation).

In addition, every dollar you donate to EMCC from now till 31 March 2022 will go towards our GIVE HOPE campaign and will be matched by the Singapore government, under the Enhanced Fundraising programme.

So please consider making a special contribution this year to make twice the impact.

Thank you.

Dr Jeannie Chiu

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