Tuesday, 26 September 2017

More kids seeking help for mental health issues


Depression, relationship issues, bullying, family problems like divorce, quarrelling – kids as young as five years old are seeking help for these problems.

Suicide prevention centre SOS received about 1,900 calls from those aged five to 19 last year – an increase of 70% compared to 2012 while another helpline Tinkle Friend, which caters to primary school students, saw a 50% increase in the number of calls and messages from 2012 to 2016.

In 2015, teen suicides rose to a 15-year high, with 27 suicides in the 10 to 19 age group, according to SOS figures.

To help address the situation, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced it will roll out a slew of programmes – including a peer support scheme – as part of its NurtureSG recommendations.

Under the programme, a couple of students will keep a lookout for any signs of distress among their peers, and offer emotional support. For more serious cases, such as unexplained injuries – they will have to flag it to their teachers.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/more-kids-seeking-help-for-mental-health-issues-9241214

At Salesforce Singapore, workers get 7 days of volunteer leave every year

San Francisco-based Salesforce offers seven days of paid volunteer leave every year for its staff worldwide.

While the cloud giant has its own non-profit organisation called Salesforce.org, employees are not restricted to charities sponsored or supported by the company, nor do they need to submit evidence of their volunteer work.

In Singapore, such flexible volunteer leave schemes seem to remain an anomaly. According to the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), just 16% of the 1,370 employees surveyed last December said their companies offered such leave.

Most local and smaller businesses prefer to organise company-wide volunteering activities for a chosen cause or charity on the weekends, said a Manpower Group spokesman.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/at-salesforce-singapore-workers-get-7-days-of-volunteer-leave-9235898

There is a Games HQ inside this school

Games HQ in Northlight School

Every day after school, some 30 students from Northlight School do not go home. But instead, they head to a "Games HQ" where they hang out with friends and play video and arcade games till 5pm, the closing time.

The space is the Singapore Children's Society's latest Project Cabin, an after-school centre where secondary school students can rest and take part in enrichment programmes.

The charitable organisation has 15 other such school-based centres. The centre, which students have named Games HQ, has been open since 2015.

A social worker and a counsellor from the Singapore Children's Society are stationed there to befriend students and listen to those who need guidance.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/theres-games-hq-inside-school

Secret to why birds DON'T lose their hearing with age could help treat deafness in the elderly


Birds do not suffer hearing loss as they get older, a discovery which could lead to new treatments for deafness, scientists say.

A study of barn owls found they have 'ageless ears', a genetic advantage that allows their hearing cells to regenerate.

Typically our hearing goes as the sensory cells in our ears die off with age, but the new research suggests that barn owls can regenerate these cells.

Scientists believe the special ability benefits all birds - the only other previous research of its kind, carried out on starlings, came up with the same result.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4899556/Birds-ageless-ears-help-scientists-treat-deafness.html