The topic of mental health has been gaining traction of late, with organisations, media outlets, schools and social media platforms talking about it. Here’s a story of how we helped one of our beneficiaries navigate her mental health challenges.

Part of Singapore Children’s Society, the Oasis for Minds Services (OMS) team was formed primarily to provide a seamless service covering mental health promotion, accessible early intervention and recovery-focused services. OMS’ mission is to enable our beneficiaries to develop positively and live in a safe and inclusive community. Besides OMS, our four youth drop-in centres also have trained professionals who provide mental health-related support to ensure our youth have a safe space to communicate their problems with our social workers.

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Charmaine* is one beneficiary who has benefited from the help we offer. Just like any regular youth that attends VOX @ Children’s Society, she began dropping by the community-based youth drop-in centre in the Chai Chee district with her friends after finding out about it. On the outside, Charmaine appeared to be doing well in school and life. She scored regular attendance in school as well as in her co-curricular activity (CCA) and had positive interpersonal relationship with her peers in school and in VOX as well.

Having gone to VOX for more than a year, she managed to build good rapport with the staff members. Hence, she was confident enough to approach the social workers to share that she had been sexually assaulted before and it was somewhat affecting her moods and sleep. She had begun to experience symptoms of trauma after the incident, something she had not openly shared with her parents as her feelings and thoughts were often dismissed. After consultation from OMS and other professional bodies like the Child Protective Services of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Charmaine received interventions outside of VOX to help her with her diagnosis of ‘Adjustment Disorder with Insomnia’.

While Charmaine is on the road to recovery, VOX continues to provide her with the necessary developmental work and interest-based activities to develop her strengths. With a caring nature and willingness to help others, she has participated in community-initiated projects with VOX such as ‘angbao’ and orange distribution during Chinese New Year to the residents residing around Chai Chee. Charmaine also participated in interest-based groups such as badminton and even took part in the National School Games (NSG).

“Charmaine’s help-seeking behaviour has shown how much courage and grit she has in wanting to get better in her overall functioning as a youth, and even as an adult in future.” – Jacqueline Kee, Senior Social Worker from VOX who has been working with Charmaine on her journey thus far.

*Name has been changed to protect our beneficiary’s identity

VOX is one of the four youth drop-in centres that Singapore Children’s Society operates, serving youth aged between 13 and 18. The centre models its intervention on the Positive Youth Development Framework, and aims to impart the 5Cs – Caring, Character, Competence, Confidence and Connection – to the youth. This is achieved through developmental programme and sports. Youth who require more targeted help will be given the necessary support through casework and counselling.

Click here to read the story in Chinese.

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