Vertical race raises over $380,000 for people with mental health conditions

Mr Haslam Preeston, 41-year-old regional managing director of Jardine Cycle & Carriage, completing the vertical race up the 33-floor Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1 during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival 2017.
Mr Haslam Preeston, 41-year-old regional managing director of Jardine Cycle & Carriage, completing the vertical race up the 33-floor Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1 during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Ms Dora Chua, 48-year-old receptionist with Jardine Cycle and Carriage, participating in the vertical race up the 33-floor Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1 in her jungle-themed outfit during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival 2017.
Ms Dora Chua, 48-year-old receptionist with Jardine Cycle and Carriage, participating in the vertical race up the 33-floor Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1 in her jungle-themed outfit during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Cheerleaders from participating companies cheering their runners competing in the vertical race up the 33-floor Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1 during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival 2017.
Cheerleaders from participating companies cheering their runners competing in the vertical race up the 33-floor Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1 during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Cheerleaders from participating companies cheering their runners competing in the vertical race up the 33-floor Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1 during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival 2017.
Cheerleaders from participating companies cheering their runners competing in the vertical race up the 33-floor Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1 during the Mindset Challenge and Carnival 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - To prepare for her dash up a towering skyscraper, receptionist Dora Chua has been scaling 47 floors once a week for the past four months.

On Sunday (Oct 29), the 48-year-old's efforts paid off, 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 less than 10 minutes.

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

"We can't be there physically to help these people, so I hope 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.

The amount raised goes towards Mindset Learning Hub, 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 open 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, a record number of more than 2,000 Jardine employees, their families and friends turned up for the event, which also included a carnival where craftwork made by beneficiaries, such as soaps and keychains, were sold.

Guest of honour Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and the Environment and Water Resources, said 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 also cited the $160 million the Government is investing over the next five years to enhance capabilities and improve access to community mental health services, announced in March, as how it is helping those who are reluctant to seek help for mental health issues.

Chairman of Mindset Care 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."