Our Stories

You can bring comfort to our beneficiaries this Lunar New Year

Mr Ramesh

65-year-old Mdm Malliga, shares a close bond with her 45-year-old son, Ramesh, who has mild intellectual disability. However, their relationship was put to the test in 2015 when Mdm Malliga's brother passed away suddenly, and Ramesh developed depression and anxiety. The loss of his uncle deeply affected Ramesh as they were very close, and Ramesh had difficulty processing his grief and managing his emotions. Ramesh subsequently left his job and required constant care and attention from his mother due to his anxiety.

Mdm Malliga learnt about TOUCH Centre for Independent Living (TCIL) and hoped that it would benefit Ramesh. Although Ramesh was anxious and had a hard time settling in while at the centre, he gradually adapted and flourished with support from his mother and TCIL coaches. TCIL social worker, Kho Wai Leng, focused on building Ramesh's confidence through small successes, and they discovered his newfound passions for dancing and cooking. The mother-son bond was strengthened at TCIL's Family Day where Mdm Malliga and Ramesh learnt more about each other through various activities and embraced shared values. Today, Mdm Malliga is grateful that Ramesh has become more confident and is regaining his independence with the help of the coaches at TCIL.

Mdm Sapiah

63-year-old Madam Sapiah, who was once an avid soccer player in her leisure time, faced health challenges that led to her retirement at 55. After her husband's passing in 2021, loneliness and depression overwhelmed her. A chance encounter with her son’s former tutor, Mdm Maria Yee, changed her life. Mdm Yee introduced Madam Sapiah to TOUCHpoint@Geylang Bahru, where she joined Seniors Caring for Seniors, a befriending programme which empowers seniors to contribute as volunteers.

Through weekly visits from her befriender, Mdm Yee, Madam Sapiah found solace and support. Inspired by her positive experience, she became a befriender herself to assist isolated seniors. Madam Sapiah witnessed and experienced the positive impact of seniors supporting one another and now encourages other seniors to take the first step in volunteering. Madam Sapiah advocates for active living through participating in diverse activities at TOUCHpoint@Geylang Bahru, from playing the Angklung to volunteering at Malay Kampung events. Her children support her involvement and recognise the positive changes in her life.

Ms Eleanor

15-year-old Eleanor faced bullying and academic struggles at school while coping with conflicts in her part-time job. Her family members were often busy with work and had no time for her. Overwhelmed by stress and a sense of isolation, Eleanor experienced suicidal thoughts and attempted to take her own life in March 2023. Fortunately, she was stopped by a passer-by. Eleanor received treatment at the Institute of Mental Health and in late March 2023, joined Supporting Youth in the Community (SYiNC), a programme run by TOUCH Mental Wellness to support youths with mental health conditions in the community.

Every fortnight, Eleanor would meet her SYiNC counsellor, Ms Savrina Shahi, who created a safe space for her to share her emotions and address various issues. They developed a safety plan for her suicide risk during a session, which Eleanor considered her biggest takeaway. Through counselling, Eleanor gained a better understanding of her relationships, improved in her interactions with others, and developed coping skills which significantly reduced her suicidal thoughts. She aspires to control her suicidal thoughts, cultivate positive relationships, and refine her communication skills which will be helpful for fulfilling her dream of becoming a bus mechanic or driver. Eleanor is currently part of a bus enthusiast club in Singapore and desires to get into the Automotive Engineering course at the Institute of Technical Education.