Understanding the mental health experiences of adult men with intellectual disabilities in Singapore

Jonathan Ee Yao Hong, Jan Mei Lim, Biza Stenfert Kroese, John Rose

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This study aims to explore the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities in Singapore receiving inpatient mental health treatment. To date, there has not been any research that examines the views and experiences of this population in Singapore. The research examines how the participants view their mental health problems and their experiences of the services they received.

A qualitative design was chosen to address the research question. Six adult men with intellectual disabilities were recruited from the tertiary hospital and interviewed. The transcripts of these interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Four super-ordinate themes were identified; awareness of mental health problems; yearn for a life outside the ward; interacting with other people and finding purpose.

The participants reported that they struggled with being segregated from their families and communities following an inpatient admission. They were able to report on the emotional difficulties that they experienced and hoped to find employment after their discharge from the hospital. They talked about reconstructing their self-identity and forming friendships to cope with their hospital stay. This research is one of its kind carried out in a non-western society and the findings are discussed in the light of how mental health professionals can best support people with intellectual disabilities during their inpatient treatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities
Early online date1 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2021


  • Singapore
  • experiences
  • intellectual disabilities
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • mental health services
  • qualitative research


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