On 27 July 2022, Mind Science Centre (MSC) and Singapore Red Cross Society (SRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to embark on a new mental health partnership. With this new partnership, MSC and SRC will collaborate on the development and provision of Mental Health courses, in particular Emotional Literacy First Aid (ELFA), and its related training.

The MOU was officially signed by Mr Benjamin William, Secretary General of SRC, and Professor Chong Yap Seng, the Lien Ying Chow Professor in Medicine and Dean of Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Mr Isaac Tiong, Finance Director of SRC, and Associate Professor John Wong Chee Meng, the Lin Jo Yan and Yeo Boon Khim Professor in Mental Health and Neuroscience, MSC Director and Senior Consultant Psychiatrist of National University health System.

The milestone event began with brief presentation by A/Prof John Wong about the significance of the collaboration with SRC and the importance of the new Emotional Literacy First Aid Programme. Through the new training programme, healthcare staff and volunteers will be able to:

  • Identify common mental health conditions associated with acute mental distress
  • Identify common stressors and distress situations unique to the healthcare setting
  • Explain how different roles in the workplace can play their part in creating a safe and inclusive environment
  • Explain the LEAP technique (Listen, Empathise, Assist & Advocate, Professional help)
  • Provide initial psychological support to people in mental health distress and assist them to seek professional help
  • Explain ways to exercise self-care and to improve mental health literacy

Mr Benjamin William was then invited to say a few words about the collaboration. He commented that the pandemic has highlighted the impact of mental health disorders and the need to improve mental health support for the community. Though SRC has programmes and trainings targeted for the schools and general public, he acknowledged the need to customise the approach to meet the need of the various groups. With the collaboration, subject experts and resources will come together to deliver a strong psychosocial support programme, while SRC will focus on expanding outreach and benefitting more people.

Next, Prof Chong Yap Seng praised the efforts to develop ELFA for the community and expressed that he would like to bring ELFA to the medicine undergraduates and graduates as well.

With that, the MOU was signed by the key stakeholders, signifying the commencement of the collaboration.

As the event was held at Mind Art Experiential Lab, MSC took the opportunity to invite the guests to tour the newly launched curation – ‘Teens & Kin’ – to close off the programme of the day.

MSC would like to express our gratitude to all parties who are instrumental in driving this collaboration to its fruition.

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