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Blog: My mental health story

I’ve been contemplating the idea of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative for Bridges M&C for ages, but have not really found anything that would be aligned with our professional commitment to disease awareness and healthcare issues, and yet resonate in a real, personal way at the same time.

All until late 2020, when I was invited to contribute a letter to a literary anthology called, “Letter To My Mother”, which was to be published by Marshall Cavendish.

I have talked about my difficult family life in little vignettes and dribs and drabs over the years on my social media, but never in 2500 words.

So as Felix Cheong the anthology editor hands me the can opener to open my can of worms once again, I was forced to deliberate:

1. Which mother to address the letter to

2. And how the letter should be written

I realised I wanted to write to my late biological mother as I had spent the least amount of time with her, and she was also the mother I least understood. I also realised I could not write her letter without shedding light on my biological father who has paranoid schizophrenia, and his impact on the whole family. I wanted the letter to speak the truth and yet be compassionately written.

When I described the direction my contribution was taking with Felix, he revealed several contributors also talked of stresses within families and mental health issues such as depression in their letters.

So that was when I decided to bring up the idea of using the book as the basis of Bridges M&C’s first CSR initiative, #BridgesGivesBack. Every purchase of the book through the Bridges M&C website will benefit either of two charities: the Singapore Association of Mental Health (SAMH) in Singapore and Befrienders KL in Malaysia.

In just two months we have surpassed our initial target of 100 books in both countries, and counting, thanks to the help of family, friends, acquaintances, complete strangers, and even friends in the media who have lent their platforms to talk about the #BridgesGivesBack initiative and my personal mental health story.

The campaign will end on World Mental Health Day on October 10th, a day after my birthday; another opportune time for reflection.

Click on this link to contribute:

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