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Peer Helpers Programme Outing



On 4 June 2018, the Peer Helpers had the privilege of visiting Samaritans of Singapore, CHAT Hub @*SCAPE and Touch Cyber Wellness. Despite it being the first week of the holidays, we turned up fresh and excited to meet and learn about these non-profit organisations, which are committed to serving the community.

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The first place we visited was SOS (Samaritans of Singapore), where we were welcomed by two members of their staff. They discussed the prevalence of suicide in our country, which is the leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 29. We were then shown a graph that indicated how the number of deaths by suicide outstrips the number of deaths from transport accidents in Singapore.

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The staff then introduced us to SOS's programmes and services. There are ten in total, with an emphasis on prevention, intervention and post-vention. SOS also has a 24-hour hotline manned by a team of volunteers who provide emotional support for callers in distress. A staff member disclosed that most callers reach out to them at night. People also tend to call in on festivals and special dates as they are reminded of their traumatic experiences. SOS receives hundreds of calls a night on average.

We felt a deep admiration for the dedicated and passionate volunteers, who have all gone through a rigorous volunteer training programme supervised by mentors. Some of SOS's volunteers have served the organisation for decades.

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Next, we headed to CHAT Hub. CHAT, which stands for Community Health Assessment Team, can be found on Level 5 of *SCAPE. CHAT offers confidential and personalised mental health checks for young people between 16 and 30 years old, and recommends resources that can help them. CHAT aims to provide youth with access to mental health resources not just at their physical space at SCAPE, but also online through social media. They have previously launched mental health awareness campaigns like In My Shoes and On the Mend.

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Beautifully furnished with colourful chairs and couches, CHAT Hub offers visitors a warm and cosy environment where they can browse through brochures and books on mental health. It is a safe space where anyone can speak to their friendly youth support workers. We toured the space and saw the room where they conducted mental health checks.

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CHAT also also has an active online chat service, Web CHAT, which visitors can use whenever they need someone to talk to. One can build a relationship with the CHAT youth support workers online before arranging to visit CHAT Hub in person when they feel comfortable enough. The staff are online between Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12pm to 9pm (excluding public holidays) and can be contacted at 6493 6500 / 6493 6501.
Head down to their website for more information: https://www.chat.mentalhealth.sg/

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We then headed to our last stop, Touch Cyber Wellness, where we were introduced to the range of services that Touch provides: 18 services, 20 centres and 24 clubs.

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Touch Cyber Wellness aims to promote healthy gaming behaviour among youth. We tried out a first person shooter game—part of their holiday programme—but ended up too competitive, clicking the mice frantically and screaming in excitement. The staff told us that these games help youth cope with gaming addiction by teaching them life skills like teamwork and strategy. The staff were highly engaging and knowledgeable about trendy games, and it was most intriguing to see how they used them as a form of therapy.

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It was overall eye-opening learning journey. We all had lots of fun and gained a lot of insight through our visit to these organisations.

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