In this edition of Mind Science Centre’s (MSC) key event ‘Speaking Up for Mental Health’, we celebrated the launch of ‘Profiles in Resilience’, a book sharing stories of resilience from 20 amazing individuals; and heard the inspiring story of an undefeated mind from Professor Jeremy Monteiro – our 3rd Tow Tiang Seng Distinguished Lecture Guest Speaker.

This event was held on Saturday, 27 March 2021 at Goodwood Park Hotel, live-streamed to our webinar guests and Facebook fans. This hybrid event saw close to 400 webinar registrants over Zoom and about 40 esteemed guests and donors of Mind Science Centre were invited to attend the onsite event. We were honoured to have Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and Minister-in-charge for Social Services Intergration, as our Guest-of-Honour.

Here’s the webinar recording for on-demand viewing.


A/Prof John Wong, the Lin Jo Yan and Yeo Boon Khim Professor in Mental Health and Neuroscience, opened the afternoon’s event with an introduction of Mind Science Centre, highlighting:

  • One of the flagship translational research program – the Jurong Ageing Research Study, which was translated into the Age Well Everyday (AWE) program in the community, to mitigate the impact of ageing and reduce the risk of dementia and depression in the elderly, in a fun and enjoyable environment.
  • We’ve also delved into research in adolescents through our Youth Epidemiology and Resilience (YEAR) Study, and works are in progress to launch our new incubation space to research the benefits of Mindfulness and Art on the Mind.


Prof Tommy Koh gave reasons why ‘Profiles in Resilience’ is an important book for all to read.

  • There is an inextricable link between nature and mental health.
  • This book contains 20 inspiring stories of extraordinary men and women. All the authors are in their 60s, many of them are retired from their professions and occupations.


Mr Abdullah Tarmugi enlightened us to how this book was conceptualized and produced.

  • He felt that it was such an attractive proposition to edit a book of essays (about) his colleagues, the NaMAS group. The book project itself took about 10 months from conceptualization to printing and to today, its launch. Despite the COVID-19 constraints, the group managed to pull it off. The idea of the book was from the late Mr Wee Sin Tho, who was a member of the NaMAS group and felt that the stories should be documented and shared.


Minister Desmond Lee took the spotlight by emphasizing the vision of a city-in-nature and how a mindful walk in greenery and nature can benefit mental, physical and social health.


Prof Kua Ee Heok, the Tan Geok Yin Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience, initiated the start of the second segment of the day’s event – 3rd Tow Tiang Seng Distinguished Lecture by Prof Jeremy Monteiro on the topic of ‘Music is good for my mental health’. During the lecture, Prof Jeremy Monteiro started off talking about the role of music and art in the society, going all the way to the primal times. After a brief sharing of his growing up years learning the piano, he illustrated his main talking points using 3 songs composed by him.

  • First song: Life goes on

This song was inspired by the well-known psychiatrist Dr Elisabeth Kübler Ross’ book “On Death and Dying”, which talks about stages of grief. As the song was played, Prof Jeremy narrated how the song flowed towards acceptance, transiting from experiencing great loss, with a little ascendance. The song ended off with a turn towards reflection and acceptance, having passed through the worst stages of grief.

  • Second Song: One people, One nation, One Singapore

Prof Jeremy discussed on how he had previously encompassed the story of Singapore with lyrics and melody through the national songs he composed. He subliminally added 8 voices towards the end of the song to plant a strong sense of patriotism in the listener.

  • Third song: Homecoming

This was a song Prof Jeremy first composed in his head as the airplane he was on landed in Singapore. He illustrated the happiness he felt from being back at home with a joyous melody that showcased a dance and celebration aspect. As the music flows, each line was further improvised to keep the upbeat feeling of the song. With that, Prof Jeremy emphasized that Jazz is a great way to promote heuristic thinking, improvisation and trouble shooting.


The book launch event and lecture lasted for 1.5 hours with many insightful sharing from the various speakers. Watch the full recording to find out more!


This MSC’s key event was made possible by the generous contributions by the Tow Family, and MSC would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Tow and family for the support for our programmes and research in mental health.

The lecture series is a rich resource for the general public to find out how an undefeated mind can be cultivated from our lifestyle and from the community we live in through productive discussions about mental health issues and potential interventions. The first of the series was themed ‘Living, Working and Ageing in Singapore’, delivered by Professor Norman Sartorius – former director of the World Health Organization’s Division of Mental Health, and former president of the World Psychiatric Association. The second lecture dived into the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Biomedical Perspectives of mental health to discover ‘The Ecology of Longevity’. The recording of the lecture series is available on Mind Science Centre website.

A jazz pianist extraordinaire, Maestro Jeremy Monteiro is one of Singapore’s most talented, respected and loved musicians. As a recipient of Singapore’s prestigious Cultural Medallion with more than 40 solo albums to his name, he has been actively contributing to both the jazz music and mental health scene through his various roles as composer, vocalist and educator. In his award-winning book ‘Late-Nights Thoughts of a Jazz Musician’, he reflected on his life’s ups and downs.


Tough times don’t last, but tough people do! The recipe for resilience lies in the practice and joy of being in touch with humanity and nature. Profiles in Resilience, a sequel to the well-received Nature.Health.Happiness, has been inspired by the crisis wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic. In spite of their humble beginnings – some beset by abject poverty – the 20 individuals* featured in the book are able to emerge as accomplished leaders in their fields, through sheer diligence, perseverance and dare. They have been senior civil servants, corporate leaders, university professors, and even a top motor racer and fashionista. The universal thread that weaves the tapestry of their resilience is indefatigability. Verily, the post pandemic era will require reimagining not just how to rebuild our economy – or even lives – but more urgently, envisioning what social and mental capital can create. It starts with distinguishing what truly matters – human relationships and our care for planet earth.

This book is available at Kinokuniya and Popular Book Stores. Royalties from the book sales will be donated to the Wee Sin Tho Memorial Fund, which supports the research, translational programmes and administrative work of MSC.

Grab your copy today!

We hope you enjoyed this webinar, and we look forward to seeing you again. Mind Science Centre has shared the video for educational purposes, in line with our goals to share knowledge and benefit the community. Please do not replicate the videos or slides without permission.

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