Archbishop Nicholas Chia blessing Clarity board members and staff during the organisation’s first anniversary celebration on Oct 10. Photo: RICHARD KOH
Clarity Singapore, a Catholic charity which aims to meet mental health needs, plans to move to permanent premises in Yishun in early 2012, its chairman announced.
Mr Tan Peng Chin was speaking at Clarity’s first anniversary celebration cum commemoration of World Mental Health Day on Oct 10. The event was held at Damien Hall, Blessed Sacrament Church.
The charity currently operates out of Damien Centre in Blessed Sacrament Church and is an affiliate member of Caritas Singapore.
Mr Tan announced that Clarity is building up its team of professional staff and volunteers to expand its services, and work with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) to promote integrated community-based mental health care services.
AIC, an independent corporate entity under the Ministry of Health Holdings, was formed to “look into the enhancement and integration of long-term care”, according to the AIC website.
Acknowledging that Clarity is a “newly formed charity and unable to provide a comprehensive programme” for all the different kinds of mental health problems in Singapore, Mr Tan said it will cater to persons suffering from depression, anxiety and mood disorders.
Services include individual and group counselling, support groups with experienced and qualified counsellors, therapeutic intervention and psycho-education, follow-up care and other support for beneficiaries and their family members.
Clarity has supported more than 100 people since it began its services, Mr Tan said.
Clarity has also organised talks and seminars on topics such as depression, psychological trauma, coping with loss and grief, and understanding anxiety disorders,
Clarity board member Dr Christopher Cheok, who heads the Department of Psychological Medicine at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, said voluntary welfare organisations can contribute to public mental health in various ways.
These include helping psychiatrists counsel people, assist those who do not want medical help, support those recovering from mental illness and those distressed at life’s challenges.
Speaking on the sidelines of the celebration, Clarity’s executive director Grace Ang said her organisation decided to move to Yishun because of a mental health care service gap in northern Singapore.
The move might allow for a tie-up with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, also located in Yishun, to provide a quicker response to those with mental health care needs, she added.
Clarity will continue its public education and care for those suffering from depression, anxiety and mood disorders, Ms Ang said.
Clarity also plans to increase the number of counselling services for clients and create support groups for those recovering from mental illness.
AIC will provide training to Clarity’s staff and counsellors and share the industry’s best health care practices, Ms Ang said.
During the celebration, Archbishop Nicholas Chia blessed and prayed for Clarity’s board members and staff.
Also present were guests from the Ministry of Health; Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports; Health Promotion Board; AIC; Singapore Association for Mental Health; Singapore Anglican Community Services and National Council of Social Service.
Clarity is organising a workshop on self-discovery on Nov 26 and a talk on Compassion Fatigue on Dec 10. It is also in the process of forming a support group for individuals suffering from break-ups and loss of relationships.
For more information, visit http://www.clarity-singapore.org/current-activities.html, email email@example.com or call 9710 3733.
By Darren Boon