In this edition of Mind Science Centre’s (MSC) key event – Tow Tiang Seng Distinguished Lecture Series, we were pleased to be able to hold a hybrid event to commemorate the launch of our new book ‘Ageing with Dignity. The book was written by trainers and volunteers of the AWE program, and edited by Professor Kua Ee Heok and Associate Professor Rathi Mahendran, in memory of our Patron, the late Mrs Teo Poh Yim.

We were honored to have Mr Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, as our Guest-of-Honor to officiate the launch of the new book.

Our Keynote Speaker – Professor Kua Ee Heok and our panelists came with fresh insights into the significance and meaning of living well with dignity. The signature event was concluded with an amazing attendance of 50 onsite guests and a webinar audience of 357.

Watch the full recording to find out more!


Ageing with Dignity by Professor Kua Ee Heok

The pervasive theme of the Age Well Everyday (AWE) program is to engage in positive ageing and to do so with dignity. Being the first dementia prevention study in Asia, the series of research and findings have been selected for presentation at the World Congress of Psychiatry in Bangkok this August.

During the lecture, Prof Kua traced the genesis of the AWE program, starting from the 10-year Jurong Ageing study to its development as a Dementia Prevention Program (prior to being renamed as AWE program) in the community. This flagship initiative by Mind Science Centre is the epitome of how research can guide the development of a program that will benefit the community at large. Each study was conceptualized with the main goal of having translational significance.

Moving on from the Jurong Ageing Study, the AWE program continues to evolve and we have a new project on Community Health and Intergenerational study, which focuses on ageing-in-place.

With the pilot study on Therapeutic Rainforest Walk, MSC in currently in works with the various community partners to roll out the branding new activity, which encourages participants to take a mindful walk in the forest and reap the benefits to one’s mental and physical well-being. The intricate connection of how nature can enhance our mental well-being called for the need to preserve our rainforest and take active steps to prevent climate warming.

Before ending off the lecture, Prof Kua paid tribute to the late Mrs Teo Poh Yim and her legacy in helping seniors grow old with dignity. Her commitment and dedication will continue to enlighten and inspire generations of people.

Key quotes:

  • We never actually own the rainforest, we merely look after it for the next generation.
  • AWE is more than a platform for dementia prevention, it is a platform to unite the community.
  • The success of the AWE program is the fulfilment of her purpose-driven life.

Panel discussion: AWE & Research

The session ended off with a brief introduction of the key chapters in the newly-launched book and a short Question and Answer session with our panelists. A/Prof Rathi Mahendran moderated the discussion and facilitated the questions to the respective panelists.

Mrs Wee Geok Hua, an AWE Volunteer and Trainer well-versed in the Mindful Awareness Practice, explained to us how one can build mental resilience from engaging ourselves in the moment.

Mr Abdul Rashid Ibrahim, an active AWE Volunteer, is currently the lead of the ongoing smartphone project for Malay seniors at Tampines-Changkat Community Centre, Singapore.

A/Prof Shefaly Shorey, the principal investigator of the research on ‘Where there is no psychiatrist’, illustrated a potential community framework where we can train residents and volunteers to be capable to administer mental health first aid, so as to enhance the availability of mental health resources.

Gallery of Photos

Relevant Links


The Tow Tiang Seng Distinguished Lecture Series brings internationally and nationally eminent and respected thought leaders to speak on issues of key importance to developing mental resilience across all ages. Established in 2019, the lecture supports Mind Science Centre’s mission to innovate mind health with biological and social science through translational research in the community to build an undefeated mind. From businessmen and scientists to political figures and celebrities, each event is unique and designed to inform, inspire new ideas and spark collaborative interest. The lecture series is made possible by the generous donation of Mr Tow Heng Tan, in honour of his father – the late Mr Tow Tiang Seng. It is held annually and open to anybody with an interest in mental health to attend.


Prof Kua Ee Heok is the Vice Chairman of NUS Mind Science Centre, Emeritus Consultant, National University Hospital, and in private practice at Mind Care Clinic, Farrer Park Medical Centre. He graduated as a doctor from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur and received his postgraduate training in Psychiatry at Oxford University and Geriatric Psychiatry at Harvard University. A member of the WHO Research Team for the Global Study of Dementia, he was previously Head, Department of Psychological Medicine at NUS, and CEO & Medical Director at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore. His research interests are ageing, depression and psychotherapy, having published over 350 research papers on dementia, depression and alcoholism, and written over 30 books on psychiatry, stress and ageing.


Ageing with Dignity captures key findings and insights from a 10-year study on positive ageing and dementia prevention in Singapore. It aims to fill the lacunae of knowledge on ageing in Singapore, from which, enables both young and elderly people to have a better and positive perspective of ageing. It can be a road map for future research enterprise with translational relevance.

The book was officially launched by Senior Minister Mr Teo Chee Hean on 8 May during the 5th Tow Tiang Seng Distinguished Lecture.

Available in major bookstores at a retail price of SGD35 (not inclusive of GST).

  • Kinokuniya
  • Popular
  • NUS Co-op
  • Mary Martin
  • Epigram Online Store

*E-book to be released by end June 2022.