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On being disillusioned about mental health initiatives in Singapore.

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

May I share a little secret?

I've been feeling more and more disillusioned by so-called mental health organisations in Singapore.

And one of my biggest worries is that I'll end up like many of them.

That my (or my social enterprise's) selling point becomes the claim that a minister or some random MP (Minister of Parliament) supports what we do.

Even though, by experience, many of them don't have a clue or genuinely care about mental health is at all.

That maybe my focus should be bringing in more "well-known" or reputable names in as well.

Perhaps, doctor this and psychiatrist that.

Even though I well know that many of these doctors will just be in it for the money and reputation.

(Yes, I'm prepared to be flamed for this post).

Then we also have our mental health organisations whose main feature is a list of all the corporate clients they've partnered in.

Btw, this week I was asked to be a founding member of Singapore FIRST EVER employee wellbeing champion network.

Which in all honest truth, I think is another poorly thought out initiative - placing the onus on the individual employee to seek help, to regulate themselves...

When really it's the organisation and leaders who need to lead and promote this change instead.

A one hour long mindfulness or therapy session isn't going to solve a toxic working culture.

A one hour long mindfulness or therapy session isn't going to solve a toxic working culture.

I've also recently attended various fund raising events - one, an organisation that boasts more than a million "touch points".

Fine details though: this includes online and offline touch points as well. Shall we consider a flyer a touch point too?

So to tell you the truth - I simply don't care about any of this.

What I really care about is if we are making real change here.

Not the MPs, not the doctors, not the publicity, but what the organisation is doing at its core.

How it's helping actual "people" - again not a touch point, but people in a very real way.

And why am I doing this myself then?

Because I was once broken, perhaps still am too.

But that's enough for me to keep going, one human being at a time, and keep on doing it still.

Because although more stars and glitters might get me the funds, it's all just going to be fluff.

And that's helping no one.



Still fighting for this cause.

1 Comment

Nov 08, 2023

Personally I'm really encouraged by your stand for this cause and passion.,

l believe that as long as you stand for what you stand for, people will rally to you when they see the stand. I just wished I could be as clear as you are when I was in a mentally capable state to fight.

So many people in Singapore believe in changing from within the system. In other words compromise until some disaster such as Covid turns up.

There is a culture of horse trading of validation between people with accreditations and hiding the elephant in the rooms.

However, I feel that purity is not the goal as well, we are human and we need to feel good,…


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