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Four win awards for dedication to social work

Published on Oct 30, 2012 6:00 AM
(From left) Outstanding Social Worker Award winners Wu Mei Ling and Esther Lim, and Promising Social Worker Award winners Jean Koh and Ivan Woo were at the ceremony at the Istana on Monday. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

After 17 years spent in the field of suicide prevention, crisis and social intervention, Ms Esther Lim received one of this year's Outstanding Social Worker Awards from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at a ceremony at the Istana on Monday.

The head of medical social services at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) was honoured along with Ms Wu Mei Ling, the centre director at Students Care Service (Hougang).

Ms Lim was working at SGH when Sars struck in 2003. As part of the team assigned to the accident and emergency department, she and her fellow social workers had to tend to incoming patients and provide counselling and stress management to the hospital's staff.

Acute stress syndrome and post- traumatic stress disorder aside, the social workers also had to deal with an elderly man who committed suicide. In his 70s or 80s and suffering from chronic illnesses, the man jumped to his death, they later discovered, from the stress of the Sars situation and the lack of human contact.

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