20 October 2020, Singapore – Doctor Anywhere, a tech-enabled omni-channel healthcare provider with operations in Southeast Asia, launched an online mental health video consultation service. This is in addition to a suite of other tele-health services including GP consultation, lactation consultancy, and an in-app Marketplace with a range of wellness products and services, including booking appointments for home-based healthcare services.
This new service allows users to choose from a panel of registered psychologists and counsellors and book therapy sessions over video consultation on the Doctor Anywhere app. The 60-minute sessions can be conducted in the privacy of the user’s own home via calls that are end-to-end encrypted, and patient records are kept confidential. The fees for using this service are, on average, 50 percent lower compared to face-to-face therapy sessions. Users from anywhere in the world are able to use this service to seek support from experienced mental health practitioners.
Mr Lim Wai Mun, founder and CEO of Doctor Anywhere, said: “The unique challenges created by the pandemic have brought about an unprecedented level of stress, anxiety and other symptoms of poor mental health to the world. Since the pandemic started, we’ve observed more users consulting our doctors for stress-related issues such as insomnia. Access to support for mental wellbeing is more critical now than ever before.
Additionally, people who do not suffer from mental health issues can also benefit from speaking to a professional. Therapy isn’t just for battling mental illnesses or alleviating serious trauma — it can help people solve everyday problems and overcome roadblocks at various points of their lives. The truth is, many people are unaware of how beneficial therapy can be in optimizing performance in areas such as motivation, self-confidence and energy levels etc.”
Studies highlight more mental health support needed for 18-34 year-olds
A systemwide user survey conducted by Doctor Anywhere in June this year highlighted the stigma and barriers faced by youths in seeking mental health support despite their better mental health awareness.
Key findings include:
- 9 in 10 respondents aged 18 to 24 know of friends or family who are seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist for mental health issues. This may imply a greater awareness and openness to discussing the topic of mental health.
- Top conditions stated by respondents aged 18 to 24 that they are most likely to seek therapy for are stress, depression, anxiety, and family and relationship problems.
- Fear of judgment and the high cost of therapy are more likely to deter respondents aged 18 to 24 from seeking professional help, compared to other age groups.
- Respondents aged 18 to 34 are significantly more receptive to seeking therapy compared to the older age groups.
“The topic of mental health is still a taboo in Asian societies. We want to provide a safe and accessible environment for people to seek help from psychologists and counsellors easily and conveniently. A virtual platform like Doctor Anywhere can reduce the psychological barrier associated with visiting a mental health professional, and provide time and cost savings for both the user and the provider,” added Mr Lim.
Collaboration with award-winning creative agency GERMS to develop communication campaign
The objective of the campaign is to highlight the importance of addressing issues that people may experience in varying degrees in their daily life, such as stress, procrastination, lack of motivation or self-doubt. Our collaboration aims to provide information in bite-sized pieces to engage the audience in an interactive and accessible way.
Titled #NotAnExpert, the campaign uses relatable scenarios with a touch of local humour to highlight the importance of receiving mental well-being advice from credible sources while working against the stigma of speaking to a professional.
Mr James Chua, founder and managing director of GERMS stated, “More often than not, people suffering from poor mental health either do not seek help, or choose to seek help from non-professional or alternative sources. This campaign seeks to normalise viewing mental illness as a common health condition that people should seek professional help with, just the way they would for conditions that affect one’s physical health, such as the flu or a fracture. We are extremely proud to be selected as Doctor Anywhere’s communications partner as we strongly believe that their innovation in the tele-health space makes healthcare more accessible to all, and paves the way for the future of healthcare services.”
The campaign microsite is accessible at mentalwellness.doctoranywhere.com.
Doctor Anywhere works with major corporate insurance providers, payment providers and telcos in the region, including Great Eastern, AXA, Cigna Singapore, Mastercard and ViettelPay, to cover more than 1 million lives on Doctor Anywhere’s online and offline platforms in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
 DA Mental Health Survey: Conducted in June 2020 via an online survey form, with 886 respondents aged 18 to above 60 years old.