CAL Board of Directors

Mr Chew Sutat

Chairman

Ms Jennifer Fan

Vice-Chairman

Dr Chua Siew Eng

Director

Mr Koay Peng Yen

Director

Dr Mok Yee Ming

Director

Mr Chew Sutat, Chairman

Member, Nominations & Human Resource Committee, Fundraising Committee


Occupation: Senior Managing Director, Head of Global Sales and Origination, Singapore Exchange

In addition to your full-time job, you volunteer your time to sit on the CAL Board of Directors. What motivates you to champion mental wellness?

The real champions are the caregivers themselves! Personal experiences with friends and family, and the consciousness of the stigma against mental health in many facets of society motivates me to advocate for mental wellness. I was also struck by the 2016 data from IMH that 1 in 7 Singaporeans has experienced a mental issue in their lifetime. That’s a staggering number, but also dated. Increasingly, in the under 30 age groups, this ratio is worsening. If we do not start with awareness and help to build collective resilience, society will atrophy on top of the increase in individual suffering.

What do you hope W4MW will achieve in terms of spreading awareness of mental wellness in the community?

For people to understand that it's ok not being ok. Seeking help when needed, and offering help when able are what makes us human; it helps to form a closer community and an inclusive society.

What is your favourite way to de-stress or practice self-care?

As a news and markets junkie, I used to spend every Friday evening “binge'' watching CNBC/Bloomberg TV until the U.S closes at 5am. That was clearly unhealthy! I now try to keep to 5-7 slots of physical sports weekly, in particular Muay Thai. In addition to the physical health benefits, getting ahead of the day with a good workout is a good way to flush off stress and noise that chokes up your mind. With clarity, one can embrace each new day and all it throws at you with more confidence and stamina.

Ms Jennifer Fan, Vice-Chairman

Chairman, Fundraising Committee

Member, Finance Committee


Occupation: Head of Asia, Freemont Capital

Could you share a little about your caregiving story, and what you hope to convey to the caregivers out there who may be struggling with mental illness in the family?

I am a caregiver with more than 30 years of lived experiences with my father. Helping other caregivers and their loved ones has given meaning to the suffering we lived through. This sense of purpose is my source of motivation.

My father was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was not even 10. Having to undertake caregiving responsibilities at a young age to help my mother is still the toughest life experience I’ve ever had to-date. But somehow, I kept believing there must be a silver lining. Today, I can say to my father, “You have painted my life with all the colours of the rainbow.” I’m thankful that my life has been so enriched by this journey with him.

What do you hope W4MW will achieve in terms of spreading awareness of mental wellness in the community, and what would you like to say to your donors/supporters?

To de-stigmatise the topic which is so important for our loved ones, so they don’t feel judged and resort to hiding their sufferings when in actual fact they need care and compassion the most.

Mental illness is much more prevalent than we realise because caregivers and our loved ones suffer in silence and in fear of stigmatisation. CAL’s caregiver-to-caregiver programme has been life-changing for me. Your support will change the lives of caregivers and their loved ones

What is your favourite way to de-stress or practice self-care?

Yoga, meditation, pole dancing and going to the gym. I try to be active every day.

Dr Chua Siew Eng, Director

Chairman, Programmes & Services Committee

Member, Fundraising Committee


Occupation: Specialist Psychiatrist, Raffles Medical Group

In addition to your full-time job, you volunteer your time to sit on the CAL Board of Directors. What motivates you to champion mental wellness?

Mental illness is sort of "invisible": individuals can look okay, even though they are not. Meaning that, many of the symptoms are subjective (just like pain is subjective). As such, I volunteer for CAL as I believe that the education of caregivers can equip them with knowledge and support, which would in turn help individuals with mental illness to get better and fulfil their potential.

What do you hope W4MW will achieve in terms of spreading awareness of mental wellness in the community, and what would you like to say to your donors/supporters?

W4MW can remind us that exercise is great for us, while at the same time, assisting others in need. To my supporters, your kindness will provide mental health education to bring hope and healing to individuals and their caregivers.

As a medical professional, what advice do you have for caregivers who are struggling with mental illness in the family?

You are doing an amazing role. Just a gentle reminder to find time to take care of your health too.

Mr Koay Peng Yen, Director

Chairman, Nominations & Human Resource Committee

Member, Audit Committee


Occupation: Former Group CEO, Tiger Airways Holdings

Could you share a little about your caregiving story, and what you hope to convey to the caregivers out there who may be struggling with mental illness in the family?

My wife and I are caregivers of my late father (who had locked-in syndrome for over 10 years), late mother-in-law (who had cancer for about 2 years), and sister (PMHI). We have been fortunate to have strong internal alignment, support and resources. This gave us good opportunities to learn about caregiving along our journey. There is much information available and a number of supportive organisations, and I encourage caregivers to reach out for help to get ideas or solutions.

What do you hope W4MW will achieve in terms of spreading awareness of mental wellness in the community?

Caregiving for persons with mental health issues (PMHI) can be both a debilitating and stressful responsibility for some families and their loved ones, especially if the illness is not well understood. The situation could be made worse if some caregivers reject medical interventions and resort solely to supernatural or non-medical means to try resolve their challenges.

I hope that W4MW can help enhance our community's awareness of both caregiving and mental illnesses, including available help and support. As a society, we can help simply by having factual understanding of mental illnesses and developing better empathy for both caregivers and their loved ones.

What would you like to say to your donors/supporters?

Thank you for your continued support of CAL and its mission. Every bit of awareness that we can collectively generate will be helpful. As Ernest Hemingway once said, "gradually, then suddenly". Perhaps we can soon experience a sudden mass awareness of challenges faced by caregivers of PMHI in our society.

Dr Mok Yee Ming, Director

Member, Programmes & Services Committee

Occupation: Senior Consultant and Regional Chief, Central Region

Chief, Department of Mood and Anxiety, Institute of Mental Health

In addition to your full-time job, you volunteer your time to sit on the CAL Board of Directors. What motivates you to champion mental wellness?

The absence of mental illness is not mental wellness. For me, mental wellness is more than that. Mental wellness is the overall well-being of a person. That he or she can live to the fullness of his/her abilities. That he/she finds meaning in life and is able to contribute to society as well as care and be cared for by the circle of people around. To achieve this, even for a few, for me is extremely satisfying. It's what I hope for in the patients I treat and what I hope for my friends and family.

What do you hope W4MW will achieve in terms of spreading awareness of mental wellness in the community?

It's a fallacy that one can separate physical wellness from mental well-being. It's all connected in one body and one will always affect the other in either a positive or negative way. I hope W4MW will raise awareness of the need to be responsible for both the state of mental wellbeing of the people around us but for ourselves as well. I see it also as a reminder of the need to look after both our body and our minds.

What is your favourite way to de-stress or practice self-care?

Being a clinician, my job is mostly deskbound. Looking after patients day in and day out can also be stressful. Hence, for me, I have multiple ways of de-stressing. I enjoy planning and cooking meals for my family on the weekends. In recent years, I have taken up Taekwondo and practiced it 2-3 times a week. This helps me deal with my pent-up frustrations and stress. I've also taken up archery, as the need to focus with every shot serves to be very helpful in keeping my mind away from work.

CAL Board of Directors

Ms Francine Lim


Member, Finance Committee


Mr Lim Jen Howe

Chairman, Audit Committee

Mr Galen Tan


Chairman, Finance Committee

Member, Programmes and Services Committee

Mr Raymond Choo

Member, Nominations and Human Resource Committee, Audit Committee

Mr Jason Low


Member, Fundraising Committee

Mr Tim Oei

Member, Programmes and Services Committee

Dr Julian Hong

Member, Finance Committee

Ms Wong Kok Yee

Member, Fundraising Committee & Audit Committee