Updated: Jan 12, 2022
In This Article
What is Bipolar disorder?
Individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder observe that their mood shifts from periods of elation and happiness (manic episodes) to periods of sadness and helplessness (depressive episodes). These episodes can be so debilitating that it interferes with his or her daily routine.
Read on to find out more about bipolar treatments and their costs.
What are the types of bipolar treatments?
Selective Serotonin Receptor Inhibitor (SSRIs) e.g. Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac and Zoloft
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Receptor Inhibitor (SNRIs) e.g. Cymbalta, Effexor and Pristiq
Tricyclic antidepressants e.g. Elavil, Pamelor and Tofranil
Antipsychotics e.g. Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Risperidone (Risperdal), Quetiapine (Seroquel) and Aripiprazole (Abilify)
Mood stabilisers e.g. lithium (Lithobid) and valproic acid (Depakene)
Anti-anxiety medications e.g. benzodiazepine
Psychotherapy encourages the patient to talk to a mental health professional such as a therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist. Psychotherapy can reduce, eliminate or control troubling symptoms experienced so as to improve the patient’s well being.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify and change the negative thought patterns that result in negative behaviours or emotions. CBT typically involves learning new skills, goal setting and problem-solving. 
Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT)
IPSRT aims to prevent the recurrence of new affective episodes by stabilising the patients’ routine. This includes patients’ sleep cycles, meal times and rest times. 
Family therapy is a type of therapy that helps family members improve communication amongst them and resolve conflicts. These sessions also help family members strengthen their bonds and encourage them to overcome stressful times together .
Here are some tips on how to manage your stress.
Psychoeducation is a form of therapy whereby the patient and his/her family are educated on the illness, with the goal of improving the illness in the long run. This can be done by providing information about bipolar disorder and teaching them self-management skills . Psychoeducation has been proven to reduce the relapse rate for bipolar disorder as well as improve social functioning of the patient .
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy is an invasive procedure done under general anaesthesia whereby small electric currents are passed through the brain, triggering a small seizure. ECT is thought to change the brain’s chemistry, which results in cessation of symptoms of certain mental health disorders. 
ECT is usually utilised as a last resort treatment when patients are not responsive to medications and has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment for this group of people .
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. This usually results in improvement of symptoms of certain mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder. , 
What is the breakdown of the costs of bipolar treatments?
The average costs of bipolar treatments range from $50 to more than $10,000.
Factors that affect the costs of bipolar treatments include:
Electroconvulsive therapy (if required)
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (if required)
Hospitalisation (if required)
What is the difference in costs of bipolar treatments between public and private institutions?
$20 - $50
$160 - $856
$30 - $100 per month
$30 - $100 per month
Free - $182 per session
$180 - $200 per session
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
$350 per session (typically requires 20-30 sessions)
B2 ward: $79 - $83 daily
C ward: $35 - $43 daily
4 bedded ward: $223 - $291 daily
Are there any subsidies available for bipolar treatments?
Yes, there are government subsidies available for bipolar treatments. The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) offers subsidised rates for bipolar treatments at CHAS clinics. The amount of subsidies given depends on the type of CHAS card that the patient holds. 
Household monthly income per person (for households with income)
$1,201 - $2,000
$1,200 and below
All Merdeka Generation card holders receive CHAS subsidies regardless of household income or annual value of home
All Pioneer Generation card holders receive CHAS subsidies regardless of household income or annual value of home
Annual value of home (for households with no income)
$13,001 - $21,000
$13,000 and below
Simple Chronic Condition (one chronic condition only)
Up to $28 per visit, capped at $112 per year
Up to $50 per visit, capped at $200 per year
Up to $80 per visit, capped at $320 per year
Up to $85 per visit, capped at $340 per year
Up to $95 per visit, capped at $360 per year
Complex Chronic Condition (multiple chronic conditions or one condition with complications)
Up to $40 per visit, capped at $160 per year
Up to $80 per visit, capped at $320 per year
Up to $125 per visit, capped at $500 per year
Up to $130 per visit, capped at $520 per year
Up to $135 per visit, capped at $540 per year
Singapore citizens who are on public assistance will receive full subsidies for the treatment of bipolar disorder. They will have to produce their public assistance card and their NRIC during the visit at CHAS clinics.
Subsidies for bipolar treatments are only claimable in selected clinics. You may call the CHAS hotline for more information at 1800-275-2427 (1800-ASK-CHAS).
MediShield Life is a basic insurance plan that all Singaporean citizens and permanent residents are automatically enrolled in. Under this scheme, Singaporean can claim $160 per day for inpatient psychiatric treatment, up to 60 days per policy year .
For patients who still have difficulties paying their medical expenses after government subsidies, MediSave, MediShield Life and cash, additional assistance may be given from MediFund . To be eligible, the patient must:
Be a Singaporean citizen
Be a subsidised patient
Have received or required treatment from a MediFund-approved institution
Having difficulties paying for their healthcare bills after government subsidies and other means including MediSave, MediShield and cash.
Are bipolar treatments Medisave claimable?
Yes, bipolar treatments are Medisave claimable under the Chronic Disease Management Programme. Patients can withdraw up to $500 from their Medisave per year to help with their treatment costs.  Patients who are 60 years old and above may withdraw an additional $200 ($700 in total) from their Medisave to pay for their bipolar treatments.
If patients are required to be warded, they will be covered by Medishield Life. Patients can also utilise Medisave to pay for their hospitalisation. They can withdraw up to $150 per day for daily hospital charges which will be capped at $5,000 per year. 
What other factors should I consider apart from the costs?
Some factors that you may want to consider while choosing a therapist include :
Location of the clinic: As therapy usually takes months or even years, it can be time-consuming and inconvenient to travel to clinics or therapists that are far from your house.
Experience of therapist: Therapists who have more experience in treating patients with the same condition as you can provide some reassurances that he or she can help you get better.
Credentials of therapist: Ensure your therapist has relevant certifications and licenses to offer therapy services.
Comfort with therapist: As you will need to open up about certain topics, it is important to be comfortable with your therapist and trust that your therapy sessions will be a safe space. Some factors that you can consider include your therapist’s gender, age and religion.
Where can I seek help?
You can seek help for your bipolar disorder at various places in Singapore such as hospitals, clinics, counselling centres as well as help hotlines.
Hospitals which have a psychiatric ward for bipolar disorder treatments are listed in the table below.
Singapore General Hospital
20 College Road, Singapore 169856
Academia, Level 3
Ward B2: $633 - $2,449
Ward C: $692 - $2,780
Sengkang General Hospital
110 Sengkang East Way, Singapore 544886
Ward C: $786 - $1,385
Institute of Mental Health
10 Buangkok View, Singapore 539747
Sayang Wellness Centre
B1 4 bedded ward: $250/day
2 bedded ward: $310/day
1 bedded ward: $440/day
B2 ward: $61/day
C ward: $32/day
National University Hospital
5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074
Ward B2: $860 - $3,091
Ward C: $804 - $2,419
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433
Ward A: $2,960 - $8,046
Ward C: $672 - $1,703
Changi General Hospital
2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889
Ward B2: $1,088 - $4,120
Ward C: $934 - $2,864
Ng Teng Fong Hospital
1 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609606
Ward C: $711 - $1,906
Mount Elizabeth Hospital
3 Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore 228510
2 bedded ward: $3,777 - $10,141
You may also visit other government or private hospitals that have a psychiatry ward to receive treatment.
General Practitioner & CHAS
You may seek help at polyclinics or General Practitioner (GP) clinics. These clinics can refer you to government hospitals for specialised mental health treatments, at a subsidised rate.
There are 18 polyclinics in Singapore located all around the island that you can seek help at. The price of consultation at polyclinics ranges from $6.90 to $24. You may also enjoy subsidies at any CHAS GP clinics if you are a CHAS cardholder.
Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic
Bukit Batok Polyclinic
Bukit Merah Polyclinic
Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic
Marine Parade Polyclinic
Pasir Ris Polyclinic
Toa Payoh Polyclinic
However, subsidies for bipolar treatments are only claimable in selected CHAS clinics. You may call the CHAS hotline for more information at 1800-275-2427 (1800-ASK-CHAS).
Counselling centres & helplines
Lastly, there are also counselling centres and helplines if you need someone to listen to you
Address & Contact number
AWARE (for women)
Block 5 Dover Crescent #01-22
1800-774-5935 / 67797137
$35 per session (monthly salary < $3,000)
2% of monthly salary (monthly salary > $3,000)
8 New Industrial Road
Counselling & Care Centre
Block 536 Upper Cross Street #05-241
Hong Lim Complex
$180 per hour ($40 - $150 per hour after subsidies)
Fei Yue Community Services
Block 604 Choa Chu Kang St 62 #01-53
Mount Elizabeth Charter Helpline
Mount Elizabeth Hospital 3
Raffles Counselling Centre
Raffles Hospital, 585 North Bridge Road
$160.50 - $856
SAGE Counselling Centre
1 Jurong West Central 2 #06-04
Jurong Point Shopping Centre
Free for Singaporeans/PR
Foreigners: $50 per hour (centre) / $100 per hour (home)
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)
Block 10 Cantonment Close #01-01
Shan You Counselling Centre
Block 5 Upper Boon Keng Road #02-15
$80 per session (individual)
$100 per session (couple/family)
Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
Block 69 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh
TOUCH Community Services
5 Stadium Walk, Leisure Park Kallang, #04-05/06
Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that can be serious enough to interfere with one’s daily life as well as their personal relationship with others. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve the quality of the patient’s life.
At frankie, we make mental healthcare and wellness easy for all with just one small task a day. Head on guided wellness journeys that understand your stressors or triggers or work with our behavioural and wellness professionals - all from the comfort and privacy of your home. Sign up for our Closed BETA here.
This editorial section solely expresses the opinion of frankie and is not endorsed nor commissioned by any external party. The list is non-exhaustive. At frankie, we believe that your best provider of medical advice is your doctor. Please consult a doctor before undergoing any treatment or procedure.
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