Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, Co-Founder of CAL

Mr Hsieh Fu Hua was the Co-Founder of CAL. He still actively supports CAL, and in 2019 conducted a talk with GIC and Financial Women's Association (FWA). He serves on the boards of a number of non-profit and business organisations. He chairs the National University of Singapore, the National University Health System, the National Gallery Singapore and the Singapore Business Federation Foundation Limited. He is currently also a member of the National Research Foundation’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council.

He is active in the social sector and founded BinjaiTree, a privately-run charity that is keenly engaged in mental health. He also co-founded *Resilience Collective, and most recently *Caring for Life. He was previously President of the National Council of Social Service and Chairman of Stewardship Asia Centre.

*Resilience Collective is a a peer-powered mental health platform, focused on shifting perceptions and changing mindsets through the voices of persons with the lived experience of a mental health condition. Resilience Collective's programmes span across resilience education and peer support initiatives, focused on empowering peers through recovery and helping them build resilience to thrive beyond.

*Caring for Life aims to establish a community approach to suicide prevention, including early identification of suicide ideation and building supportive communities who understand the importance of mental wellness resilience. Caring for Life's programme equips participants to recognise signs and positively engage persons who might be having thoughts of suicide, and connect them with community resources for suicide intervention.

You founded BinjaiTree, co-founded CAL, Resilience Collective and recently Caring for Life and have openly spoken about your own family’s mental health challenges. What motivates your relentless support for mental wellness?

I was raised in a giving family, and the importance of sharing readily was impressed upon me from very early on. This is not just about money, but also about the giving of oneself to support a range of worthy causes. Mental wellness is one such cause that I am deeply drawn to. I was personally affected and become more aware of mental health back in 2000, when my daughter was diagnosed with clinical depression. That has since shaped the way I viewed mental health issues, in particular how I could effect change in the organisations that I lead. Stresses from Singapore’s fast-paced urban life affect many all of us, both at home and at work. To me, championing mental wellness goes beyond one’s personal interest and extends to supporting others in the community. We need a sustainable effort as a community to take on this journey of promoting mental wellness.

In recent years, much effort has been made by the government, organisations, corporations and individuals to raise awareness about mental health. Do you think enough is being done? If not, what changes do you hope to see?

In spite of our efforts, mental health issues continue to be much more prevalent than we think, particularly amongst our youths. 1 in 5 youths would experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. (Singapore Mental Health Study, 2016) More can be done to help our youths seek help, and this begins with our leaders walking the talk to prioritise mental health within organisations and across the Singapore community.