Sunday, 15 October 2017

Exceptional people: Inspiring English Language Teacher

Inspiring Teacher of English Award winners (clockwise from centre) Edwin Wan, Mumtaj-Menon Ibrahim, Shalini Thanakodi, Sophia Yap, Sheela Devi Tet Baahadur, Cara Chew, Michelle Tan, Sharon Chan and Kogilavani Veerappan. The winners, who were chosen from a pool of 80 nominees, received their awards at a ceremony held at the National Library in Victoria Street yesterday.PHOTO: AZMI ATHNI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
They are:
Madam Kogilavani Veerappan, 43, from Bartley Secondary School,
Mr Edwin Wan, 37, Yio Chu Kang Primary School,
Mrs Mumtaj-Menon Ibrahim, 40, from Huamin Primary;
Ms Sheela Devi Tet Baahadur, 44, from Temasek Primary;
Ms Sophia Yap, 43, from Bedok South Secondary;
Ms Shalini Thanakodi, 31, from Boon Lay Secondary;
Ms Michelle Tan, 34, from North Vista Secondary;
Ms Cara Chew, 41, from Catholic Junior College; and
Ms Sharon Chan, 43, from Raffles Institution.


Forum: Relook Joint Singles Scheme for rental flats - updated with reply

The findings of the street survey appear to point towards a lack of social services for homeless men (180 found living on the streets; Oct 7).

I agree that these issues are complex and should be addressed collectively by society.

One of the findings was that a number of those surveyed had a rental flat under the Joint Singles Scheme.

Under this scheme, two single tenants rent a flat together. Often, they are strangers who were placed together.

This is a weakness in our Housing Board public rental policy.

The scheme glosses over the differences the two singles might have. This often results in conflicts and one of the tenants moving out.

The HDB might want to consider relooking its housing policy and assess if it can be loosened to include these singles who have fallen through the gaps.

More crisis shelters are also needed for men, as there are very limited avenues now for them to get help practically.

Fang Xinwei



Forum: Help available for those living on the streets

We thank Mr V. Balu for his suggestions and concern for those in need (Set up task force to help those living on streets; Oct 11).

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) looks into each report of persons sleeping in public.

The MSF also conducts patrols and joint efforts with other agencies to engage those who are sleeping in public.

Our priority is to ascertain and address their immediate needs, in particular their health and safety.

Those with no family support and housing are offered shelter.

Individuals who need long-term support are cared for in welfare homes.

There are often multiple and complex issues that may result in a person sleeping in public.

For instance, some may have homes but are unable to return home due to a conflict with family members or tenants.

We work closely with social service, community and government agencies to extend help and support to these individuals by providing financial assistance, employment assistance, counselling to address marital and family issues, or referrals to other services.

There are also instances where individuals decline assistance, despite attempts by MSF officers, social workers and community members to engage them to offer the necessary support.

Members of the public can play a role too. If they see someone in need, they can approach him, understand his situation, and call the ComCare hotline on 1800-222-0000 or advise him to approach the nearest Social Service Office or Family Service Centre if he requires help.

Kong Kum Peck (Ms)
ComCare and Social Support Division
Social Policy and Services Group
Ministry of Social and Family Development


Centre for those recovering from mental illnesses

Image: ST
Singapore's only psychiatric shelter to support people recovering from mental health issues opened near Serangoon Road yesterday.

Called the Anglican Care Centre (Farrer Park), it was opened by the Singapore Anglican Community Services (SACS), a Christian welfare organisation.

The centre can house 60 adults and 20 young people aged 16 to 21, who require temporary accommodation after treatment and are ready to return to live independently in the community.


Magic mushrooms may 'reset' the brains of depressed patients

Image for illustration only
The active ingredient in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, may have a 'reset' effect on the brain that helps patients overcome depression, scientists have shown.

Many of the study participants voluntarily described a sense of their brains 'rebooting' after just two psilocybin experiences.

The psychoactive substance temporarily disintegrates the 'default mode network' which is a highly-connected set of brain regions that are particularly active during introspection and when we are under stress.

After psilocybin experiences, researchers at Imperial College London found that these areas of the brain reintegrated, became more stable, and that most participants felt immediate and continued relief from their depression.