posted on 08:55 AM on Friday 30 May 2014
Interestingly, the Defense Minster indicates that for the years 2011 to 2013, about 500 males a year are exempted from National Service due to mental health issues ( link ). Checking the statistics for live birth in Singapore, we see that we typically have slightly less than 50,000 births a year for the period of 1990 to 1995 ( link ) which is probably about the time these guys were born. Given that the gender ratio is Singapore is pretty close to 1:1, we can probably assume that the rate of males having mental health issues is 1 in 50. Assuming that mental healthy issues are equally distributed among males and females, this would mean a rate of 1 in 50 for the general population. That does seem higher than would be expected. So a bit of googling shows that the rates in the US has been estimated to be 26.2% which is far higher than 1:50 ( link ). Of course one of the issues is the definition of mental health issues here, the one used in the US is any form of mental health issue while the one reported in Singapore is mental health issues severe enough to be exempted from National Service. But nevertheless, it does appear that mental health issues are far high in frequency than I would have suspected.