Team wins award for enhancing mental health services for children

From left: Chan Mei Chern, Geraldine Wong Cheng Im, Associate Prof Daniel Fung Shuen Sheng, and Grace Li Jiaying from the Institute of Mental Health's Response, Early Intervention and Assessment in Community Mental Health Programme.
From left: Chan Mei Chern, Geraldine Wong Cheng Im, Associate Prof Daniel Fung Shuen Sheng, and Grace Li Jiaying from the Institute of Mental Health's Response, Early Intervention and Assessment in Community Mental Health Programme.ST PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI

SINGAPORE - Children with possible mental issues used to have to wait up to three months just to get help.

But ever since a community mental health programme was launched in 2007, help is now available almost instantaneously to troubled children, with the help of trained professionals stationed around the island who help identify and assess students early.

For their contributions, the team behind the Response, Early Intervention and Assessment in Community Mental Health (Reach) programme was presented the National Clinical Excellence Team Award by Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong on Thursday (Aug 16).

This was one of seven teams and individuals who were lauded at the annual National Medical Excellence Awards (NMEA) ceremony. The NMEA, which started in 2008, recognises healthcare professionals for their outstanding work as clinicians, researchers, and educators.

This year's winners include Associate Professor Patrick Tseng, who won the National Outstanding Clinician Award for his work in the dental specialty endodontics, and Associate Professor Toh Han Chong, who bagged the National Outstanding Clinician Scientist award for his pioneering work in cancer immunotherapy here.

Prof Tseng, who was formerly the Ministry of Health's chief dental officer, was recognised for achievements such as helping to develop a new dental tool now widely used in teaching programmes around the world.

Recipients walked away with a trophy, a citation, and a prize of $10,000 each.