Stepping up to raise $380k for those with mental health issues

Ms Dora Chua, a receptionist with Jardine Cycle and Carriage, dressed in her jungle-themed outfit, climbing the 33 floors of Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1, during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival.
Ms Dora Chua, a receptionist with Jardine Cycle and Carriage, dressed in her jungle-themed outfit, climbing the 33 floors of Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1, during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

To prepare for her dash up a tall office building, receptionist Dora Chua climbed 47 floors once a week for the past four months.

The 48-year-old's efforts paid off yesterday when she joined some 200 people who raced up the 33-storey Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1 for a good cause. She completed the challenge in under 10 minutes.

The event, Mindset Challenge and Carnival, raised $380,000 for those with mental health conditions. The race format serves as a reminder of the uphill climb faced by those with such conditions.

"I hope by doing this I can play a small part in raising awareness and providing moral support," said Ms Chua, who has been working at automotive group Jardine Cycle and Carriage for 20 years.

Mindset Learning Hub is a job training and placement centre that aims to help those recovering from mental health issues.

Since it was set up in October last year, the centre has trained 182 people and helped 73 find jobs in the workforce. It was launched as a partnership between the Singapore Association for Mental Health and Mindset Care, the registered charity of Jardine Matheson Group, which organised the event.

On Sunday, more than 2,000 Jardine employees, their families and friends turned up for the event, which included a carnival where craftwork, such as soaps and keychains, made by beneficiaries were sold.

Guest of honour Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and the Environment and Water Resources, said that companies have a role to play in promoting mental well-being.

"The impact of corporations in creating a conducive workplace, such as being a touchpoint for mental health education or assessments and raising awareness on mental health conditions, is indeed vital as well as helpful in creating a healthier, happier and invariably more productive workforce," she said.

Dr Khor cited the additional $160 million the Government is spending over the next five years to enhance capabilities and improve access to community mental health services, first announced in March in Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's Budget speech. The sum is meant to help identify and respond to people with mental health issues in the community, and provide care and after-care for them.

Chairman of Mindset Care, Mr Alex Newbigging, said: "Too often mental illness is stigmatised in society, and we want to change that by creating more opportunities to build greater understanding of mental health conditions."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2017, with the headline 'Stepping up to raise $380k for those with mental health issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe