Dr Cherie Chan

Keynote Speaker 01 : 10am – 11am

Dr Cherie Chan is the current President of the Singapore Psychological Society. She practices as a Registered Clinical Psychologist and Supervisor at a private practice and works extensively with adolescents and adults presenting with a range of psychological and health issues. She holds various professional positions with international psychology associations and works to promote health and wellness to the community.

Keynote Speaker 1

Joining the dots: Mental Health in Singapore and Beyond

This talk will focus on the mental health scene in Singapore and the international collaborations that the Singapore Psychological Society has worked on to help increase our psychological presence on the international stage. This talk will also highlight SPS’s stance towards building mental health resiliency and connection amongst youth in Singapore.

Ms Kok Yun Fern

Keynote Speaker 02 : 11am – 12pm

Yun Fern is a Senior Clinical Psychologist in the Dept of Psychology, IMH. She attends to the various mental health needs of adults ranged 18 years and above. She provides clinical psychological services, including but not limited to psychotherapy and psychological assessments in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services, including forensic cases referred. Her areas of interest include working with emotions and self-compassion. 

Keynote Speaker 2

Beyond Stigma: How to Support and Care for Oneself and Others

The subject of mental health and stigma has never been more pertinent in recent times. This talk presents an overview of the prevalence of mental health issues and common psychiatric disorders reported in Singapore. We learn to recognize common mental health struggles and signs, and get practical tips on supporting one another in a struggle or crisis. 

Ms Joy Ong 

Concurrent Sessions (Peer Support) : 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Joy has been working with children, youths, adults and families for more than 15 years. Her clinical experience includes working in family service centres, juvenile homes, psycho- oncology and psychiatric mental health settings. She also sits on the panel of experts for MSF and NCPG.

Joy specialises in working with youths with at-risk behaviours or mental health concerns. She is also one of the lead clinicians in charge of developing suicide protocols for clinical, community and workplace settings. Joy is also trained in addiction work, and works extensively with youths who are coping with addictions such as smoking, substance use, gambling and gaming disorders etc

Since 2014, Joy was also the lead clinical supervisor for the national Online Peer Support Programme (Audible Hearts), where youth volunteers were trained to support youths with mental health needs. She was also the main trainer developing the HPB’s Peer Support Programme to empower youths to provide peer support within their communities.

Joy also holds a special interest in strengthening family relationships and parent-child relationships. Joy has developed therapeutic models of working with children and youths with complex attachment difficulties using mindfulness and parent-child interventions. She has presented the frameworks in both local and overseas conferences, and has also been awarded the Winner of Award for Best Services and Clinical Intervention by the International Association For Youth Mental Health (IAYMH).

Peer Support 1

Making Student Mental Health A Priority – The Importance of Peer Support 

Mental health is truly a critical component of every student’s wellbeing. As we navigate the mounting pressures and transitions arising from COVID-19 situation, we are likely to see more students struggle with burnout, anxiety, depression, or mental health issues.

In recent studies, it was revealed that stigma is a powerful force preventing tertiary students with mental health difficulties from disclosing their issues, and getting help for themselves. In a survey conducted by SOS (2020), one in three youths responded that they will not consider contacting help when they are emotionally overwhelmed because of the fear of embarrassment or being judged. This highlights the importance of peer support, where we train students to check in, and reach out to their friends in a non-judgmental and empathetic manner.

Our peer supporters play an important and pivotal role in reaching out to students who may feel afraid to come forward to seek help. In this segment, we are going to discuss the concept of peer support, and the impact peer helpers bring to helping schools/IHLs to support students with mental health needs. Together, we want to send an important key message that students’ mental health matters, and we can all make a difference in this!

Dr Timothy Hsi

Concurrent Sessions (Peer Support) : 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Dr Timothy Hsi is a counsellor educator, psychotherapist and coach. 

Tim started his journey as a counsellor in a secondary school in 1997 where he had to learn everything from the ground up. Subsequently, he joined the Singapore Management University in 2003 and single-handedly started and led the counselling service to the point of the Centre becoming the first donor-named counselling service in Singapore (Mrs Wong Kwok Leong Student Wellness Centre). 

During his time at SMU, Tim started SMU Peer Helping programme, which was the cornerstone of his counselling strategy. In 2013, Tim edited the first ever peer helping book “A Basic Guide to Peer Helping”. The Peer Helping programme has since become an established part of the mental health landscape within the SMU and across several educational institutions across Singapore. 

In 2015, he left the university and founded a company that specialised in providing training and certification for career development counselling and coaching and was instrumental in introducing new training programmes such as the Knowdell Job and Career Transition Coach and the National Career Development Association’s Facilitating Career Development trainings to Singapore. 

In 2016, Tim was recruited to be a faculty member of the Australian College of Applied Psychology in Adelaide to help start up a graduate certificate programme in career development practice as part of the counselling curriculum for students training to be counsellors. 

In his voluntary capacity, Tim is the Founding President of the Career Development Association of Singapore (CDAS) and leads a team of passionate career practitioners and is actively involved as an editorial board of the Asia Pacific Career Development Journal.  He is also a member of the editorial board at the Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia. 

 

Dr Tim has a Doctor in Education from the UCL Institute of Education and a Master in Guidance and Counselling from James Cook University.

Peer Support 2

Peer Support: Utilising the power of friendship in mental health provision. 

Peer Support for youths in Institute of Higher Learning.

The awareness of mental health has been growing in Singapore and across the educational field over the past decade. The increased awareness about the need for positive mental health amongst youths has been an encouraging trend which bodes well for society as a whole. 

Currently, it is estimated that every school in Singapore has at least one counsellor and a team of at least 2 (or more) in each tertiary educational institution. On average, each school in Singapore has between 800 to 1000 students. A polytechnic has around 70,000 students and a university at around 30,000. 

According to the American School Counselor Association, a healthy ratio of counsellors to students should be around 1:250-400. Comparing the numbers, it is fairly obvious that the ratio is definitely out of proportion in the educational institutions in Singapore. 

This realisation was the impetus for the creation and setting up of a peer support programme in Singapore Management University in 2003. Over the years, the programme has served the mental health needs of the student community both as a bridge as well as eyes and ears of the counselling service. 

In this webinar, Dr Timothy Hsi will share with the audience his experience of how he started the SMU Peer Helping programme in 2003 and will equip listeners with a guiding framework for any educational leader intending to start similar peer support programmes in their institutions/organisations. 

 

Ms Sandra Charis Tee

Concurrent Sessions (Special Needs) : 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Sandra Charis Tee has close to two decades of local and overseas experience working with children and adolescents with varying learning and behavioural needs, both in private clinical and school settings. She works with her clients to improve their academic and social functioning, and has a special interest in inclusive education. 

Besides working with young clients, Sandra Charis also conducts workshops and seminars for parents and professional educators alike. In 2013, she was interviewed on Toggle Television on the topic of early learning development.

Sandra Charis holds a Master of Educational Studies (Learning Support) from the University of Queensland, Australia. During her tenure with the university, she was awarded a scholarship and received commendations from the Dean for outstanding academic achievement. In addition, she received a special award from the Board of Special Educators (Brisbane Branch) for having achieved the highest proficiency level in her field of studies. 

As a previous member of the Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth, a local non-profit organisation, she has conducted workshops and talks on behalf of the organization at various local schools and was invited by Mediacorp 938 Live to speak on the issue of bullying on two separate occasions. She was also invited to write a chapter in the book, “Breaking the Silence: Bullying in Singapore” by Esther Ng and Ken Rigby, alongside internationally renowned researchers in the field. 

Special Educational Needs 1

Disabilities and mental health: Our roles in creating an empathetic learning environment

People with learning disabilities and developmental disabilities are more likely than the general population to face mental health challenges. The increased risk is partly due to the fact that people with disabilities are more likely to face adverse events in their lives, including academic failure and social rejection. What can we as educators, counsellors and peers do to help support them? If you have a disability, can you recognise, address and advocate for your own emotional and mental health needs? 

In this talk, you will:

– Understand the mental health challenges that people with learning and developmental disabilities are more likely to face;

– How to contribute towards a kinder and more inclusive learning environment that supports the mental health of people with learning and developmental disabilities;

– How to recognise a mental health need and seek help. 

Mr Mark Lim & Mrs Sue Lim

Concurrent Sessions (Special Needs) : 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Mark Lim, Consultant/Counsellor & Director, The Social Quotient

Mark Lim is a professional trainer and counsellor with more than 20 years of experience in the education and youth sector. As a lecturer in the local polytechnic and a teacher in a leading secondary school, Mark was nominated for, and received awards related to the development of curriculum and the teaching of life skills such as understanding relationships, applied social psychology and critical thinking.

Mark has a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and a Certificate of Profession Practice in Special Needs. He is currently involved in family life work as a marriage mentor and counsellor, and he conducts parenting and mentoring programmes for various educational organisations as well as counselling for persons with special needs. Mark was a special needs consultant with the Ministry of Education and local drama company I Theatre. He has counselled many tertiary-level youths who have special educational needs. 

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Sue Lim, Principal Consultant, The Social Quotient

Sue Lim is an experienced teacher and counsellor with numerous years in the field of education. She obtained her Post-Graduate Diploma with the Ministry of Education and spent many years teaching English to gifted students at a top primary school in Singapore. Sue then obtained a Masters in Pastoral Counselling, and worked as an Allied Educator in the area of counselling. She is skilled in the Yoshimoto Orton-Gillingham Approach and is certified to teach students with dyslexia. 

Sue has worked in the youth sector for 20 years, and she has been a mentor to many young people. A seasoned trainer, Sue has taught teachers in the Gifted Education Programme and trainee teachers from the National Institute of Education in the area of special needs. Sue also worked as an external teacher and a tutor for children with special needs and was a special needs consultant with the Ministry of Education. She currently mentors parents in the homeschooling community on matters pertaining to social-emotional support. 

Special Educational Needs 2

Making Sense of Learning: Managing Sensory Challenges for Improving Mental Wellness

Students with special needs face many struggles at home and in school. Many of these challenges are related to how the brain interacts with the environment, specifically in the processing of sensory information. This workshop will examine how our seven senses affect our learning, and discuss the lesser known vestibular and proprioception senses. We will then talk about how our state of mental wellbeing is affected by our sensory environment, and how we can build a more inclusive culture in order to facilitate a more sensory-friendly learning environment.

 

Dr Cheryl Loh

Concurrent Sessions (Life Matters) : 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Dr Cheryl Loh is Chief and Senior Consultant at the Department of Psychological Medicine in Changi General Hospital. She has a special interest in Adolescent Mental Health and set up the Adolescent Psychiatry service in CGH. Her current research interests focus on adolescent depression, self-harm, social media use and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Life Matters 1

Self-harm in Young People

This session will discuss the clinical presentation and current understanding of self-harm and suicidal acts. It will also walk through various interventions targeted at the situations in which these arise. It aims to allow participants to start to develop an understanding of the complex factors which surround such acts and consider their responses when these are encountered during interactions with family, friends and clients.

Dr John Tan

Concurrent Sessions (Life Matters) : 2.30pm – 3.30pm

• Founding president of Youth Work Association Singapore

• Executive Director of CARE Singapore, youth-serving charity which he helped found in 1997

• Dr John has extensive experience helping youths and adults keen to make a caring impact in the lives of youths

• He produces a weekly podcast called “Every Youth Matters” 

Life Matters 2

Mining Our Minds: How We Harm Ourselves Unknowingly

Did you know that the average person has some 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts every day? And that, of these, about 80% are negative and 95% are exact repetitive thoughts of the day before? Let’s uncover the insidious nature of automatic negative thoughts or ANTs and how we are participating in self-harm without even recognising it. Let’s also discover practical steps to circumvent ANTs in our lives and learn how we can bolster our minds – a powerful organ but often under-powered.

Live Panel: 3.45pm – 4.45pm

Ms Shelwyn Tay

Shelwyn Tay is the Founder and Principal Clinical Psychologist at The Integrated Psychology Practice. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with an Honours degree in Psychology, and did her  postgraduate training in Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University in NSW, Australia. She has more 20 years experience providing individual assessment and therapy services for a broad base of local and international clients. 

Shelwyn enjoys working across the life span, and sees children, youth and adults as part of her regular practice. She is trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness-based approaches. She has observed that positive change occurs when individuals are able to make sense of their life situations in a way that is consistent with their personal values and beliefs. As such, she has a particular interest in developing a therapeutic approach that actively integrates cognitive beliefs, systems of faith, personal values and behaviour. 

Shelwyn is a member of the Singapore Psychological Society (SPS), the Australian and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association (ANZICA) and the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS).

Mr Carlin Lee (Closing Plenary Session – Moderator)

Carlin Lee joined Ngee Ann Polytechnic Counselling & Care, Student & Alumni Services, as a Student Counsellor, just as Circuit Breaker started in Singapore in April 2021.

He currently supports both the Mental Wellness and Special Needs teams within the Counselling & Care unit. His whole career has always been in the education industry as he spent the last 11 years educating and counselling tertiary level students.

Carlin also volunteers extensively to help and promote mental health and psychology, spending his free time by supporting various psychological societies in Singapore and the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Mental Wellness Staff Committee.

Ngee Ann Counselling & Care

This event is brought to you by the Counselling & Care Team, Student & Alumni Services, Ngee Ann Polytechnic. The Counselling & Care Team delivers pastoral care for the holistic wellbeing of Ngee Ann students. Other than providing socio-emotional counselling for students, the team also provides student crisis support services and wellness training to staff and students.

The Social Quotient is committed towards the goal of helping all individuals build social relationships. We aspire to help everyone develop a healthy sense of worth; and in the process learn how to relate to others in a positive manner.

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