Keep Calm and Carry On
The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed extraordinary stressors in our daily lives as we know it.
Nevertheless, it is important to learn how to manage our stress in order to carry on with our lives. The article Keep Calm and Carry On in My Mental Health talks through about stress and how to manage it.
My Mental Health is a newly launched microsite by Temasek Foundation in collaboration with AIC as COVID-19 mental health resources.
It serves as a one-stop portal containing comprehensive information on various mental health issues, how to identify these issues, tips on managing mental health and a directory of resources and services for those who need to seek help.
Improving Mental Wellness during Circuit Breaker
The global pandemic has had significant impact in our lives. Work-from-home policies, home-based learning, safe distancing from extended family and friends, interpersonal conflicts arising from prolonged close quarter living and uncertainty of job and financial stability in the near future creates increasing levels of stress and anxiety.
In this time of circuit breaker, as we cope with our emotional distress, we can understand our own emotional needs better by learning new therapeutic tools to help us to think, feel and respond better to ourselves and to others around us. Mindhealth@ClaritySG is an online resource that can help you improve your mental wellness.
Project Gift of One Dollar (GOD) Raised Funds for Clarity Singapore
The confirmands of Church of Holy Cross had raised funds for Clarity Singapore through their project Gift of One Dollar (GOD) as part of their journey before they received confirmation.
The purpose of the project was to provide an opportunity for the confirmands to live out the meaning of being a witness for Christ.
The project was performed in three stages of activities – Mental Health Psychoeducation Workshop, interaction session with beneficiaries, and Advent Fair to raise funds.
During the workshop, the confirmands learnt about general mental health through four different experimental booths, each one allowing them to better understand the struggles the beneficiaries go through and the meaning of helping the beneficiaries.
In the second stage of the project, the confirmands had the opportunity to interact with Clarity Singapore’s clients in which the confirmands had learnt from the facilitators on how to hold a conversation with the beneficiaries. Through making handicrafts together, the confirmands bonded well with the beneficiaries.
The project was completed with an Advent Fair at the foyer of Church of Holy Cross on 8 December 2019 where an array of fun activities was held for visitors, selling of delicious homemade tidbits, services such as car washes and a photobooth, were also available.
With much gratitude, Clarity Singapore, on 18 January 2020, accepted the funds of more than $20,000 raised, which will allow us to continue providing mental health services to our clients.
Candy Christmas Party
Our beneficiaries were treated to a fun-filled Christmas party – Christmas @ Clarityland on 13 December 2019.
As the theme suggested, sweet candy decorations lined the venue and candy-themed clothes was the dress code for the party.
Together with Clarity Singapore staff, our beneficiaries enjoyed playing games – Feed the Christmas Stocking, Christmas Charades and Let’s Build Clarityland!, the food and the company. It was such a sweet memento for us all.
Fred Cordeiro, Executive Director of Clarity Singapore (right) receiving the award.
Recognised with Transparency Awards for Good Practices
Clarity Singapore is one of 67 charities recognised for being well managed and having good disclosure practices at the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards 2019 on 3 December 2019.
Organised by the Charity Council, the annual award saw Clarity Singapore – a charity with Institutions of a Public Character (IPC) status, as one of the winners of the Charity Transparency Awards for being transparent in its annual submissions of financial statements and annual reports. This award is the third award Clarity Singapore has received consecutively since 2017.
Speaking about the recognition, Fred Cordeiro, Executive Director of Clarity Singapore said, “Donors may never see the recipients of their generosity, but with the transparency award, they can be assured that all donations will be accountable and appropriately directed to services that benefit the beneficiaries."
The award was presented by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth who later announced that the Charity Transparency Framework, which guides charities on how to improve their disclosure and governance practices, will be reviewed to ensure it aligns with laws and the code of governance for charities and Institutions of a Public Character.
Photo by volunteer
Bazaar Hyping Mental Health Carnival at IMH
Clarity Singapore, during the Mental Health Carnival at Institute Mental Health (IMH), spent the event on 26 October 2019 as part of our outreach campaign against mental illness stigma – fostering understanding of the illness and promoting inclusion of persons with mental health issues.
As Clarity Singapore’s Executive Director, Fred Cordeiro always putting it, “Public education initiatives are necessary to raise awareness on mental health issues, reduce stigma related to these and acceptance of persons with the issues.”
Guest of Honor at the carnival, Mr Charles Chong, MP for Punggol East SMC, visited Clarity Singapore’s booth to hear about services Clarity Singapore offers and was delighted to see the crafts made by clients: self-care kits, artificial plants and resin key chains.
Clarity Singapore has long implemented the use of art therapy as one of the ways to help clients manage their emotional well-being.
OCD Carnival Day - The Ultimate Fun!
The OCD Network together with Clarity Singapore brought the ultimate fun to the OCD Carnival Day 2019.
The fun-filled potluck party attended by OCD persons in recovery and caregivers to mark the World Mental Health month was held at Caritas Singapore Agape Village on 19 October 2019.
Opened with the groove to the beats of music to Zumba, the carnival then staged ukulele performance, singing, piano performance followed by poem reading. Sharing a journey of a person in recovery also took part as inspiration to others to not give up journey to recover from OCD.
Meanwhile, hand painting and craft making also enlivened the carnival day!
Celebrating Courageous Lives - Launched!
Our youth microsite, Celebrating Courageous Lives is now live! Through this microsite, we hope to create a space where youths can connect with one another, obtain information and resources, as well as inspire others and be inspired. As you explore the microsite, you will find contents such as stories, illustrations, pictures, resources and articles. We will upload more contents along the way so keep checking back for more updates! For now, check out our microsite by clicking the image on the left.
If you would like to contribute stories or other contents for our microsite, do email us at email@example.com!
Photos by: Caritas Singapore
We Must Not Walk Alone
As part of his pastoral visit to the social organisations under Caritas Singapore, Archbishop William Goh made a visit to Clarity Singapore in Yishun to have a meaningful sharing session with Clarity Singapore clients and staff.
Moved by one of our clients’ beautiful sharing on having felt of being loved and accepted unconditionally, without being judged at the centre, the Archbishop says that we must never walk alone in our life journey. He adds, “Indeed, what we really need in life is someone who can accept us unconditionally and love us without judgement, so that we can grow in life and most of all to learn to accept our strengths and weaknesses.”
Concluding the visit, he ensures that there are many good people who want to give us a listening ear and a helping hand.
Sylvia McCully School of Dancing Makes Positive Difference
The Sylvia McCully School of Dancing presented Clarity Singapore with donation of over $26,000 raised through its fundraising effort – the Christmas Ballet event, “Celebrating Christmas with Hope”, held on 21 and 22 December 2018 at Kallang Theatre.
Ms Sylvia McCully, Founder of Sylvia McCully School of Dancing presented the donation to Fred Cordeiro, Executive Director of Clarity Singapore, on 22 August 2019 at Agape Village, Toa Payoh.
The fundraising effort was organized to enable Clarity to run new programmes the YES! Initiative for youths and Maternal Mental Health Initiative for maternal. The YES! Initiative serves as a catchpoint for youths at risk of or suffering from mental illness, providing early prevention, detection, and intervention in the community. While the Maternal Mental Health Initiative serves to address the gap in the community by providing perinatal mental health and postpartum depression services outside hospital settings to support mothers and mother-to-be towards maternal wellness and positive child development.
Ms McCully was thrilled to learn that the fund will indeed make a big difference especially during this Bicentennial year, where Clarity Singapore is able to further support persons with mental health issues towards recovery.
Stress and Resilience
Why does stress happen and how can we manage it?
Stress occurs when our body responses to environmental demands and pressures. Stress can come from many sources, which are known as "stressors" – the stimuli or triggers that provoke stress response in us.
Delivering the topic of stress and resilience to audience at Church of St Alphonsus and Republic Polytechnic on 5 and 10 July 2019 respectively, Fred Cordeiro, Executive Director of Clarity Singapore, underlined the connections between stress and mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“We all experience stress in our lives. Stress is our body’s response to changes in our lives and there is no avoiding stress,” Fred said. “However, stress can be effectively managed and coping strategies can be developed. If stress is not managed well, it will become mental health issues,” he added.
Fred further described that it is important to understand how stress affects our body and learn effective stress management techniques to make stress work for us rather than against us.
In the second session of the talk at Church of St Alphonsus, Glenice Lee, Program Executive of Clarity Singapore, led a reflection exercise where attendees were asked to imagine experiencing both calm and challenging situations in life as they were riding a boat in the river. This reflection exercise aims for us to realize that we cannot control what life throws us. As she quoted William Shedd, “A boat is safe in the harbour, but that is not what boats are for." She attested thereafter that even though we cannot control what life presents to us, we can learn how to better cope with these tough situations. And this is where resilience comes in.
Coping with Stress
The YES (Your Empowered Self) Better & Happier programme - @theYESinitiative is a series of programmes for youths in their journey towards their own mental wellness.
Its second of the eight sessions, held on 13 June 2019, engaged participants in activities such as choosing a vegetable to be carefully observed through sight and touch. The participants spent some time to imagine how the vegetable’s characteristics can help the vegetable during times of stress such as during stormy weather.
A cucumber, for example, having been observed and imagined, was identified as being rigid and hard, that it will not break so easily under pressure. Through this activity, youths may be inspired to emulate such characteristics in the way they behave or think during times of stress.
One of the programme highlights was the opportunity to talk about how the participants feel, behave or think during times of stress and areas where they can start improving on, such as cultivating healthy sleeping habits to reduce stress and improve concentration.
Not only did the participants get to enjoy the various activities but they also learned more about the myths surrounding stress as well as some strategies they can use whenever they feel overwhelmed – namely, the ten steps in reducing stress, STOPP (Stop, Take a breath, Observe, Pull back, Practice what works) as well as the box breathing exercise.
How to Cope with Anxiety? An Introductory Workshop to Know About Anxiety
“Overwhelmed by Anxiety? Take Control!” workshop, organized by Clarity Singapore, is an introductory workshop, one of a series of “Take Control!” programs, designed to cultivate knowledge around anxiety and management to cope with it better.
With two sessions held on two Saturdays, 25 May and 1 June 2019 at Agape Village, the workshop was opened with an icebreaking session where participants working in groups played a game of passing five beans from the first person to the last person using chopsticks. During this game, the participants seemed to relish the learning process on how to identify their thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behavioral responses.
Keen to learn further about anxiety, the participants were engaged in an activity where they matched descriptions of situations with experiences. Through this activity, they learned about common anxiety disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Furthermore, they also learned about signs and symptoms of anxiety, how to cope with it through relaxation techniques such as mindful eating, self-soothing or zentangle – a meditative drawing method. The benefits of #care2own, a self-care challenge launched by Clarity a month previously was also introduced then.
The next workshop will further look at how anxiety affects our lives and explore ways to cope within a small group setting. A Guide to Understanding Anxiety workshop will be held at the same venue over three Saturdays, 15, 22 and 29 June 2019 from 10am to 1pm.
Find out more about our interactive workshops in our Event Calendar.
We are excited to introduce Singapore’s first online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based programme called Mindhealth@ClaritySG!
This programme offers individualised therapeutic learning with professional therapist feedbacks. Through MindHealth, we hope to provide the community with an alternative self-help avenue for people struggling with mood disorders and also increase the availability of therapeutic mental health resources.
To find out more, click here >
You can also get in touch with us at T: 6757 7990 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Tue Jun 02 @ 2:30PM - 03:30PM|
|Thu Jun 04 @10:00AM - 11:00AM|
|Thu Jun 04 @10:00AM - 12:00PM|
|Sat Jun 06 @10:00AM - 12:00PM|
Breathing Space - A Group Therapy Programme to Manage for Managing Anxiety
|Sat Jun 06 @10:30AM - 12:30PM|
[Cancelled] Lighting the Way - Introduction to Depression (via Zoom)