COLOURS OF AGEING – 30 Years of Research on the Mental Health of the Singapore Elderly

Ageing is not all grey. Elderly people are often portrayed in grim statistics as a faceless population. This book is not about arid facts but explores the mind of a generation who survived the Second World War and witnessed the dramatic rise of Singapore from third world to first.

The 30 years of research on the mental health of the Singapore elderly is a tapestry of myriad colours of people from different ethnicities, cultures and social hierarchies. The book documents the social transformation of medical research, from epidemiological surveys to interventional studies of translational relevance, with the tagline “preventive medicine in the community by the community for the community”.

This book, a distillate of five epidemiological studies, is written from a longitudinal perspective, viewed through the lens of time by a doctor who conducted the research with his team. It will interest not only health professionals and policy makers but also the elderly, family caregivers and young people – just about everyone!

About the Author:

Professor Kua Ee Heok is the Tan Geok Yin Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at National University of Singapore (NUS). He graduated as a doctor from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur and received his 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 and Medical Director at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore. His research interests are ageing, depression and psychotherapy. His novel, Listening to Letter from America, is used in Harvard University for a course on anthropology. He has been invited by the United Nations in New York to speak in a world forum on “Depression: The Hidden Illness”.


On Colours of Ageing:

This book is a testimony of the wisdom and humanity of the author, who has brought memories of a time, scientific facts and sunny optimism about ageing.” Professor Norman Sartorius, Former Director of Mental Health, World Health Organisation


Professor Kua has given us a poetic and profound work. A scientific memoir written in his characteristic literary style that brings a new vision of ageing.” Professor Helen Herrman, President, World Psychiatric Association


An excellent and thoughtful book that is full of Asian wisdom and new knowledge on ageing.” Emeritus Professor Naotaka Shinfuku, Founding President, Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations

*Colours of Ageing will be launched on the 18th of March 2017 and available for purchase at your nearest Kinokuniya Bookstore.