Updated: 05/29/2014 23:10

Some 500 pre-enlistees were exempted from NS annually due to mental health disorders in the past three years



Some 500 pre-enlistees were exempted from NS annually due to mental health disorders in the past three years

In Parliament, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen has clarified what strategies are used in screening national service recruits with mental health disorders. 

He says about 500 pre-enlistees were exempted from National Service annually due to mental health disorders in the past three years. 

Those who are enlisted with mental health disorders are monitored while serving their duties. 

And only commanders and medical officers who are monitoring their progress will be notified of their conditions. 

"Our approach to mental health disorders is to ensure they are not stigmatised as long as they can perform NS safely. They are treated similarly as other NS men who have other physical health disorders, where risks are also managed accordingly based on the guidelines again developed by specialist medical boards."

On what is being offered for those national servicemen who already have a mental health disorder, Dr Ng says soldiers with mental health issues will be referred to psychological care centre. 

There's also a 24-hour Singapore Armed Forces counselling hotline for those who need help.

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