“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

-Henry Ford

NuLife Symposium 2019

The Invisible Struggle

Emotional pain though less dramatic than physical pain, has become increasingly common and harder to endure in a society that is ever evolving with a set of expectations and beliefs. It is easier to say, “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken”. The frequent attempt to conceal emotional pain only increases the burden that one feels, ultimately taking a toll on one’s contentment.  People afflicted with emotional pain often perceive themselves as the only ones suffering in this way and find themselves struggling to reach out. Taking the first step – admitting you’re struggling to cope and need help – is the first and yet most difficult step in taking action and getting the support and resources you need.

With a significant portion of individuals concealing their afflictions in order to continue achieving whatever expectations they need to fulfil, there has been a rise in the diagnosis of mental health issues, with Depression taking precedence. In line with this surging affair, NuLife had held its annual Symposium titled, “The Invisible Struggle” on 27th July at HDB Hub Convention Centre. This year’s Symposium had focused on advocating awareness on Depression and Mood Disorders by enlightening participants on the impact of these disorders and the interventions in store to alleviate the impact.

Welcoming nearly over 400 participants, the Symposium had commenced with a presentation on Depression and Mood Disorder by Dr Ng Beng Yeong, a psychiatrist who is well-versed in these aspects of mental health.

Following the presentation, a brief relaxation exercise was conducted by Mrs Ruchira Gupta, a physiotherapist who aimed to equip participants with techniques that heightened bodily awareness and aided in relaxation.

The Symposium had concluded with an interactive panel discussion featuring Dr Ng Beng Yeong and Dr Ong Say How, both professionals in the field, Mrs Ruchira Gupta who provided a physiological perspective and Ms Shamini & Ms Thanumadhya, individuals who came forth to share their personal battles with Depression and how they overcame it to pursue their life interests. NuLife had engaged Ms Eleanor Tan, a MediaCorp artiste who with her experience and passion towards helping those in need had conducted an amazing job engaging the audience and moderating the panel session in the course of the Symposium.

Participants were provided with a goodie bag that comprised of an energy drink and a muesli bar that was given in kind by NTUC Fairprice, a customised resource card, pen and water bottle from NuLife and a bottled water that was sponsored in kind by F&N. Some of these items were representative of essentials that an individual would need but tend to neglect in times of affliction.

The Symposium was very well acknowledged by our participants who felt that they were exposed to relevant information and insights on Depression and Mood Disorder that allowed them to work towards being a greater source of support to those in need. The success of the Symposium is greatly attributed to our pool of donors who came forth and contributed a substantial amount that allowed us to execute the Symposium favourably. We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all staff, volunteers and committee members for their pivotal role towards the accomplishment of the Symposium.

We hope this year’s Symposium can equip all those who participated with a common understanding of Depression and Mood Disorder given that such mental health issues often take a back seat in our community. Hence, when given the opportunity, it is pertinent that we take the efforts to reach out to those who can find comfort in being able to express themselves without being judged and embolden them with the needed support as a community.

NuLife Symposium 2018

“I Am Fine”

“To anyone out there who’s hurting—it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength”. We see people, at times strangers, at times colleagues, at times friends and at times loved ones succumbing to their circumstances never getting to truly understand the reasons behind. The unknown leaves an aching gap, making us ponder what could have been done to prevent the very worst from happening in the first place. Individuals today find themselves constricted by pressures that have been intrinsically or extrinsically brought upon, evoking feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that makes one resorting to ending their life in a fleeting moment of weakness.

In line with the increasing rates of suicide within the community, NuLife had held its annual Symposium titled, “I Am Fine” on 28th July 2018 at the SLV Hub with the aim of generating a much-needed awareness on suicide, the relevant interventions in store and what can be done as part of prevention. The Symposium was split into two sessions with the morning session targeted towards the general public and the afternoon session directed to professionals in the helping fields such as educators, counsellors or social workers.

The Symposium was extensively publicised in the aims of generating awareness and reaching out to a larger pool of participants through the release of two videos on our social media platforms that were made in collaboration with HappyTv. These videos were also shown during the course of the Symposium.

In close collaboration with Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), the Symposium had commenced with the head of training, Ms Wong Lai Chun educating participants on suicide awareness, prevention as well as intervention. The Symposium had concluded with a panel forum consisting of Ms Wong Lai Chun, Dr Goh Kah Hong, a medical practitioner from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Ms Evie Goh, an individual sharing her struggles with suicide ideation, and Ms Junita, NuLife committee member.

NuLife had engaged Ms Krissy Jesudason, a MediaCorp artiste who had appeared on the television series, “Tanglin” as our emcee for the Symposium. Given her expertise and experience, Ms Krissy had wonderfully directed the Symposium through the generation of an interactive and engaging atmosphere.

Participants were provided with a goodie bag that comprised of a notebook and pamphlet that were provided in kind by SOS, a bookmark, a resource card and a pen that was personalised by NuLife, a bottled water that was sponsored in kind by Jumbo Seafood Restaurant and two tidbits.

The Symposium was a resounding success with over 250 individuals partaking in it. Participants had shared the insights they had gained from the Symposium and how in consensus they felt more assured of reaching out to individuals suffering from suicide ideation and directing them to the rightful interventions in store.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our pool of donors who had allowed us to execute the Symposium impeccably. We are also truly obligated to all staff, volunteers and committee members for their hard work and efforts towards the smooth execution of the Symposium.

“Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey”. We hope this year’s Symposium was able to effectively resonate this message to all who had participated in it. With an enriched knowledge in the area of suicide ideation, prevention and intervention, we hope participants are able to move forth to assist individuals who feel emotionally trapped by their circumstances by directing them to relevant sources of support and letting them know they are not alone in this journey of ambivalence.

NuLife Symposium 2017

Parenting with the Brain in Mind

“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today”. As we live in a world that is constantly evolving, we find ourselves acclimatising to a culture that has become very much influenced by changes. One such change is the educational landscape in Singapore that over the years has become more competitive and has adopted a culture that places much importance on achieving stellar grades and accreditations. This change has in turn changed the way parents mould their children for school and life today, leaving a significant group of them grappling to preserve their children’s wellbeing at the expense of their achievements.

In line with this looming issue, NuLife Care & Counselling had held its annual Symposium titled “Parenting with the Brain in Mind” that was held on 10th June 2017 at the Serangoon Community Club, that had attracted 98 participants comprising of parents, identified beneficiaries and professionals in the helping field.

The Symposium comprised of a talk that was led by Mr David Foo, an experienced speaker who specialises in the human brain and mind and has given talks to various groups of professionals locally and abroad. He shared on three ways parents can work towards developing their child’s character and developing their child for school and life. To understand how children of today function in their surrounding environment, it was emphasised that parents should take the effort to know themselves and their children in terms of their thinking preferences and establish a sense of consonance that would aid in efficient parent-child communication. To sustain communication between parent and child, empathic listening was highlighted to be an extremely beneficial skillset that parents can cultivate. Aside from effective communication, setting boundaries were also accentuated to be important for a children’s development, as they mature with a sense of stability and security. The Symposium had concluded with Mr David Foo imparting a set of techniques that would aid in the retention of children’s learning and also motivate them to sustain through their education journey.

The Symposium was very much well-received by our participants who termed it an enriching, engaging and gratifying experience on a whole. The participants felt that they had gained a clearer insight on how children’s minds work and felt propelled to start communicating with children more confidently and competently. The success of the Symposium is greatly attributed to our pool of donors who came forth and contributed that had allowed us to execute the Symposium with due adequacy and diligence. We would also like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to all staff, volunteers and committee members who played a significant role in ensuring the Symposium ran smoothly.

The way parents communicate with their children pave the way for how children thrive along the course of their lives. We hope the Symposium has equipped parents on ways they can be of better support to their children who will face a specific set concerns as they meander across the different stages of development.