“I had been blessed and it’s my responsibility to do my best for those who aren’t so fortunate.”

-Dr Collin Ang

The Philanthropist Series is an editorial initiative by Mind Science Centre (MSC) to show our appreciation for our distinguished donors who have been supporting the centre’s meaningful cause behind the scenes over the years.

Having the ability to give is a blessing, and gifting others in need is a selfless choice. In our first feature, we are honoured to have a chat with Dr Collin Ang, the Managing Director of Decision Science Agency.

Beyond his day-to-day job, he has also taken up additional leadership roles to serve as a member of the Advisory Board & Fundraising Committee of MSC to help the centre achieve greater heights and contribute to Singapore’s mental health scene.

There’s much to learn from Dr Ang’s story, so let’s take a moment off your busy schedule to read on and get inspired.

Dr Ang’s Top 3 philanthropic interests

Education, disability and poverty

What drives you to contribute to the mental health scene in Singapore through your donations?

Dr Ang: I always wanted the world to be more equitable for everyone and therefore, I always try to see where my contribution would make the most impact. As mental health is still a taboo and there is quite a lack of awareness, I believe that more can be done to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated and therefore, helps people facing mental health problems to have a better quality of life.

What is the change you wish to see in Singapore’s mental health scene in the next five to ten years? How Mind Science Centre may help to realise this vision?

Dr Ang: As mentioned, awareness generation is one of the most important things to work towards due to the lack of attention to mental health issues. Next is the support structure. We would need the caregivers as well as the public to understand mental health problems and create a supportive environment for people to feel safe and even willingly seek support.

As I have seen friends dealing with parents or grandparents with dementia, I was able to empathise with the touching scenes during the ‘Remember Me’ concert two years ago. The Age Well Everyday programme is a very good initiative to help our seniors lead a better-quality life in their old age.

What drives your commitment to contribute for a meaningful cause, in all possible ways? Maybe a story of people or an event you have encountered.

Dr Ang: I had volunteered at St Joseph Home and Hospice during my JC days and continued for a number of years. My company also volunteered at the Red Cross Home for the disabled. The volunteer experience humbled me and it dawned upon me that we shouldn’t take what we have for granted. I had been blessed and it’s my responsibility to do my best for those who aren’t so fortunate.

What would be the story you wish to tell, something close to heart, that will inspire people to persevere in hardships and emerge with an undefeated mind?

Dr Ang: This is a personal story of myself. Many entrepreneurs, including myself, often get lots of praises and accolades for our achievements but only those who have walked the path would know the hours of hardship, stress and constant worry of the uncertainties ahead of us. During bad times, though we often get the most severe impact, we have to steady the ship and continue to rally our staff and partners. Do we have the foresight or ability to predict the future? The answer is no. But success stories are never told by people who have given up. Success story can only be told by people who have persevered.

We know that our body needs nutrients to flourish and so does our brain. It is important to find out what helps to keep our brain healthy and resilient so that in times of trouble, we have the ability to stay resilient. As the saying goes, we train during peace time and not war time. Meditation, prayers, talking to a friend or simply do whatever that helps you calm down, relax and stay focused. Keep doing it as a habit even when you aren’t facing the stress so that your mental strength is strong enough during those trying moments.

What is one takeaway sentence you’d wish to convey that will inspire people to play a part in building mental resilience across ages?

Dr Ang: “There is no health without mental health”.

We have a juke-box musical coming up on 11 March 2022! Dr Ang will be in action again to support this fundraising effort by MSC. Why is it a show not to be missed for all?

Dr Ang: We always think that mental health support is to make people more independent. That cannot be further from the truth. What we are trying to do is to make people more interdependent and to provide a good support structure so that everyone (including caregivers) can have a better quality of life. Find out more at the concert!

An Undefeated Mind

Date: 11 March 2022

Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall

Tickets: $128 | $88 | $58 | $38

Show synopsis:

Struggling to navigate through uncharted waters of an unfamiliar surroundings, Rose persists in holding on to her memories and the happy times. With the love and support of her family and friends, and restored confidence, she rises above her bleak circumstances, rides the waves and is determined that her best years are yet ahead!

Tickets will be on sale soon. Make a note on your calendar and be sure not to miss out!