Monday, July 2, 2018

Support , compassion for Raymond & his causes

Through the wonderful support of Rev Father Colin Tan , Parish Priest of St Ignatius Church, I had the opportunity to raise much more awareness of mental llness, promote my novel "Loving A Schizophrenic" and market a book produced by CLUB HEAL, A PLACE IN THE SUN.
 
I was fortunate to raise some funds for my own special needs and medicare care through this promotion. The Parishioners at this church displayed compassion and kindness to me with one elderly lady taking the trou...ble to buy me lunch and a drink as she knew I was dead tired from selling the books the whole day.


Rev Fr Colin Tan went the extra mile and got his IT staff to put out a lovely slide on the monitor and both he and Rev Fr Jerome gave glowing testimonies of the love I had for my late wife to the church goers, even asking at the end of mass how my sales were doing. These are the kind of priests who makes me so proud to call myself a Catholic.


At the church, I met up with the humble and caring Member of Parliament (MP) Christopher De Souza who has bought some of my books. This MP told me that he loves reading my press letters to The Straits Times , Today Newsaper & The New Paper as well as my propdsals to the Government through my blog where from redaing my articles, he gets the chance to implement my ideas and suugestions to the community .


We need these kind of MPs
The MP just sent me an email:


Hi Raymond,
Thank you for sending on the photo. And thank you for your passion for the subject of assisting those with mental illness, and their companions.

With kind regards – and thanks,
Chris de Souza
*******************************
Next up, my talk on schizophrenia at the British Council this Friday.
Have a nice day:)
Sincerely,
Raymond Anthony Fernando

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Very poor and questionable service from DBS Bank


27th June 2018

 

Heng Swee  Keat

Finance Minister

Cc: DPM Tharman

PM Lee Hsien Loong

 

Dear Mr Heng,

 

Very poor and questionable service from DBS Bank

 

I refer to the above matter.

This morning around 8.39am after praying to my late wife and sister in church, I withdrew some money from the DBS Thompson Plaza branch and while the deduction of $1,110 was made, the money did not come out from the machine.

The hotline number manned by the bank staff told me they can only rectify the mistake after investigating the incident and I can only get back my money in two days.  What would happen to the lower income group who need the money urgently for their daily expenses?  Has DBS bank got no compassion at all?

The staff proved most unhelpful and as a result of which I had to wait till 10am for the bank to open its doors before I could lodge an official report. and all my household chores including cooking and washing my clothes were delayed. A lot of customers at the bank in the queue were grumbling why the bank has to start operations at 10am when they ought to do so at 8.30am – just like other banks.

In addition, the bank at Avenue 4 Ang Mo Kio near the 628 market in Ang Mo Kio has taken away all staff, making it most inconvenient for many elderly Singaporeans. In what way is DBS Bank being supportive of our silver haired citizens?

Last month while updating my bank book, the book got stuck in the machine and the bank staff told me I will get back the bank book one week later. What kind of service is this from a bank? The bank boast of top-notch service, but is this any way to do it?
It is abundantly clear to me that the machines which I gather  is managed by a vendor are very badly maintained.

So, what next, wait two days to get my money back, then make another trip to the bank, all on account of poor systems in place?

I would appreciate a speedy reply and an apology from the bank, and an assurance that such incidents will not take place ever again

Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Raymond Anthony Fernando

 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

LOVING A SCHIZOPHRENIC reprinted for the 9th time

I managed to clear one big hurdle in getting sponsorship to do a reprint of my novel, Loving A Schizophrenic .When the 400 reprinted copies come in this week, I will have to jump over the next big hurdle which is to sell as many copies as I can. But with the love of Jesus & my late wife who watch over me, I will overcome and beat all odds. For there will always be kind-hearted people who believe in me and my causes despite the biasness and discrimination person with mental illness face everyday in their lives


Raymond Anthony Fernando
Author , Loving A Schzophrenic

Monday, June 25, 2018


25th June 2018

 

Mr Ong Ye Kung

Education Minister

 

Dear Mr Ong,

 

NUS students alleged stripping and Ngee Ann Poly questionable lap dance

Schools and tertiary institutions must provide moral education and inculcate good vales in students: An open proposal to Education Minister Ong Ye Kung

 

I refer to the press reports on the above incidents and have analyzed and come up with some possible solutions.  NUS and Ngee Ann Poly are reputable institutions and we should not just criticise the wrong doings, as anyone can do that.  

 

Rather, we should, as active citizens, contribute useful ideas to make our home a safe, healthy and conducive environment. We need to build a culture of thinking ‘out of the box’ and have the mindset to engage in creative thinking and problem-solving techniques to help the government of the day build a bright future for all of us.

 

The highly improper behaviour displayed by some students from the National University of Singapore during an unofficial orientation outing at Sentosa and a video recording of two students from Ngee Ann filmed in a less than desirable lap dance places these two educational institutions in the spotlight – but for all the wrong reasons as reported in The Straits Times and The New Paper.


Such unhealthy behavior that has the tendency to promote sex outside marriage, encourage cohobating, promote wrong values, demean women and have adverse psychological effects on the students who were unwilling to participate in the activities must never be condoned.  Some people who are under stress find engaging in sexual behaviour a way to release their pent-up emotions.


While we can allow some form of expression, we should not blindly ape western lifestyles as there must be some levels of decency in the upbringing of students.

Parents invest a great deal on money on education and thus need to be assured that their children are learning the right values.


All schools and tertiary institutions have a role to play in passing on common morality.  To do this, they must provide moral education which should be part and parcel of the curriculum. 


There must be discipline and self-regulations during school terms.   


Educators, through the direction of the Ministry of Education must give moral guidance, rewarding students for doing the right things and punishing them when they step way out of line, as well as modelling good conduct and modelling appropriate reactions to the conduct of others.


Both students and parents need to come together with the educators for open and frank discussions and reflection on the nature and justification of moral values.


Even though it’s a challenge with our youths wanting more freedom, promoting the moral development of the young is vital as relationships handled poorly can lead to much bigger social problems in later life –  be it at the workplace, in homes and in the community.

 

RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO


Footnote: 
Minister has responded positively.

Dear Mr Fernando

Thank you for sharing your views. The IHLs draw a clear line between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors during orientation.  The students can have fun, but activities must always be carried out respectfully and in good taste. For the NUS incident, the students organized the activity outside of campus and it was not part of the orientation program. Notwithstanding, NUS felt that as freshmen were invited to the event, it will take the necessary actions to send a clear message that the activity conducted was inappropriate, and in fact, illegal in Singapore. 

Regards


MOE Ong Ye Kung

 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Perspectives: Staying ‘alive’ to the realities of suicidal depression and other mental disorders : A proposal to Gan Kim Yong ,Minister of Health



Within just a week, two high profile celebrities have lost their lives in a most cruel way.

First, it was fashion designer Kate spade who hung herself and left a suicide note to her teenage daughter. Then it was Anthony Bourdain, Celebrity Chef and CNN food critic who was found dead in a hotel room in France.

Kate Spade, 55 died in an apparent suicide on Tuesday June 5, 2018 while Anthony Bourdain 61, died also from suicide on Friday, June8, 2018. 

Both celebrities had hanged themselves.

I, like many others – worldwide are deepened saddened by these tragic incidents and thus it’s important to keep their loved ones in prayer during this difficult period.


But make no mistake about it – depression and suicide are silent killers.  So too are other mental disorders such as bipolar and schizophrenia. Even though these issues are sensitive and delicate, we need to come alive on these matters by discussing it openly and rationally.

 

Some of the risks factors of suicide include:

♦ Loss of interest or pleasure

♦ Insomnia

♦ Decreased appetite

♦ Retardation, fatigue or agitation

♦ Feelings of worthlessness, guilt

♦ Impaired concentration, indecisiveness

♦ Financial distress

♦ Isolation

♦ Personal issues, such as marital problems

 

Relationship can be tricky and not everyone can manage break-ups as it is by no means easy to cope with.  For like grief, the emotional pain from failed relationships can be overwhelming.

 

The other important matter to note is that children and loved ones are in real danger of going through psychological issues as it can be traumatic for them to cope with loss.

 

In yet another horrific incident, the media had reported that a Frenchman had committed suicide at Mecca’s Grand Mosque on Saturday, June 9. There were no details released on the identity of the man, or why he threw himself off mosque roof in Islam's holiest city.

Was it suicide as reported by the press? Or was it a mental illness such as Bipolar that caused the death.

Patients with bipolar can believe that they can fly or do the impossible. It is part of the symptoms of the illness.

A case in point is how Blake LeVine, now aged 35 who as a child believed that he could fly. As a teenager, Blake would spend hours in the library frantically reading all that he could about how humans could take flight. His parents grew so concerned that he would attempt it by jumping off of one of New York City’s skyscrapers that they had him institutionalised. After being hospitalised several times, Blake was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder.

In another media report, this time by Channel NewsAsia,on June 14, “SCDF rescues woman walking on roof of overhead bridge in Yishun”, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers  had managed to rescue a woman walking on the roof of an overhead bridge.

The woman was brought to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and was arrested for attempted suicide.

Was this suicidal depression or was it a mental illness gone untreated?

We need to have a clear understanding of all types of mental disorders.

 

Family, friends, employers, religious groups and the media all have a part to play in helping depressed people overcome their struggles which can prevent suicide.  We can do this by showing empathy and concern to depressed people coupled with a listening ear; and by being in tune with the warning signs of depression.  We must never dismiss a cry for help as a sign of weakness or view the sufferer as being bothersome.

 

Certainly, suicide survivours can reinforce the message that taking one’s own life is not the solution as treatment is readily available and recovery is always possible.  These valuable sharing experiences can be carried out at schools, workplaces, religious places, community clubs and during talk shows on radio and television networks where these issues can be discussed candidly.

 

Listeners can call in with their questions and shared experiences. It will be good to also invite enlightened employers and marriage counsellors who can give guidance and directions on how to better manage challenges in life’s journey.

In addition, counselling, group therapy and supportive psychotherapy can give encouragement and support to anyone who finds life meaningless.

I should additionally add that there are stress management solutions that are available to provide anonymous education and support which we need to educate more people about.

Let us not wait till the situation gets out of hand and more tragedies take place –for one life lost is one life gone too many.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Opinion piece: Keep alive the realities of mental health issues and suicide, through survivours and talk shows: By Raymond Anthony Fernando



For a lady who was so successful in the fashion industry, it is so hard to believe that Kate Spade would have lost the will to live (“Designer Kate Spade suffered depression for years, husband says”, Channel NewsAsia, June, 7). 

I like many others – worldwide are deepened saddened by this tragic incident and it’s important to keep her family in prayer during this difficult period.


But make no mistake about it – depression and suicide are silent killers.  So too are other mental disorders such as bipolar and schizophrenia. Even though these issues are sensitive and delicate, we need to come alive on these matters by discussing it openly and rationally.

 

Certainly, suicide survivours can reinforce the message that taking one’s own life is not the solution as treatment is readily available and recovery is always possible.  These valuable sharing experiences can be carried out at schools, workplaces, religious places and at the community clubs.  

 

Some of the risks factors of suicide include:

♦ Loss of interest or pleasure

♦ Insomnia

♦ Decreased appetite

♦ Retardation, fatigue or agitation

♦ Feelings of worthlessness, guilt

♦ Impaired concentration, indecisiveness

♦ Financial distress

♦ Isolation

♦ Personal iisues, such as marital problems

 

Relationship can be tricky and not everyone can manage break-ups as it is by no means easy to cope with.  For like grief, the emotional pain from failed relationships can be overwhelming. We must never dismiss a cry for help as a sign of weakness or view the sufferer as being bothersome.

 

Instead, family, friends, employers and religious groups all have a part to play in helping depressed people overcome their struggles which can prevent suicide.  We can do this by showing empathy and concern to depressed people coupled with a listening ear; and by being in tune with the warning signs of depression.

 

Radio and television networks can play a supporting role as well, by raising more awareness of mental health issues and suicide through regular talks shows where experts and suicide survivours can discuss these issues candidly.  Listeners can call in with their questions and shared experiences. It will be good to also invite enlightened employers and marriage counsellors who can give guidance and directions on how to better manage challenges in life’s journey.

 

In addition, counselling, group therapy and supportive psychotherapy can give encouragement and support to anyone who finds life meaningless.

 

RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO

 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Inspiring & educational talks on mental illness By: Raymond Anthony Fernando




(a) Talk: Understanding Schizophrenia - a talk on a true-life experience


 

In this solid one-hour talk, I will cover my late wife’s 40-year battle with depression and Schizophrenia, the trials and tribulations of our courtship and marriage and her miraculous recovery that enabled her to become an author of 8 books- 4 of which are bestsellers. The talk will also provide an insightful peek into caring for a loved one stricken with mental illness.  I will also provide useful caregiver tips in managing loved ones with mental illnesses and what are the warning signs that people, including supervisors, caregivers, retirees, office colleagues, teachers, students, parents, employers, employees, volunteers and even a layman need to look out for in helping someone cope with Schizophrenia – said to be the most distressing mental disorder.

 

My talk also promotes the sanctity of marriage- caring for a spouse, “in sickness & in health.”

 

The fees I charge for this talk is $250.

 

( b ) Talk: Depression – Beat it, Defeat it

 

In this 45-minute talk, I will cite some of the causes of depression, provide useful tips on how to better manage depression and what are the warning signs that one must look out for in tackling depression.  This talk is also based on my own battle with depression for several years and how I overcame this illness and charted several new directions in life. Today, I am an author of 30 books.

 

The fees I charge for this talk is $250.

 

(c) Workshop: How to turn a life experience into a book.

 

Here, I will give an insight into how budding writers can come up with their first book. I will provide useful tips on the real world of self-publishing.

The fees I charge for this talk is $250.

 

(d) Seminar: The writer, the entrepreneur, the panther

 

A 45- minute talk in which I will provide 16 steps on how writers can market their books based on my own success story.

 

The fees I charge for this talk is $200.

Facilities required:


I require a LCD Projector, laptop that can screen my powerpoint slides onto a screen, windows media player with speakers to broadcast my montage (5.6 minute video), and a table to promote my * books and that of my wife (*if and when our books are available for sale) 


 


Portfolio of Raymond Anthony Fernando
Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author of 30 books, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, ghostwriter, media celebrity and a regular newspaper forum page writer.  He is a volunteer with Silver Ribbon Singapore and the Institute of Mental Health; and is Singapore’s leading advocate for the mentally ill.   The author of 30 books was married to Doris Lau whom he groomed to become an author of 8 books.  Raymond has written on a wide range of subjects through the media and in his books, and it includes real life stories, relationships, marriage, social issues, advocacy, ghost stories, humour, children’s stories, poems, creative suggestions and spiritual content. Raymond who was chosen as Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010 is born on Valentine’s Day.  He has contributed 31 years’ service in the public sector, has 15 years’ experience in public relations work and has received several awards and commendations from government organisations.