My letter was published in the New Paper on Wednesday 15th April 2009, Page 27.
Recently the NTUC FairPrice Foundation gave $300,000 to the Archdiocesan Commission for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People whichl benefits foreign workers.
Such charitable acts helps to promote kindness and compassion. Indeed, the magnanimous gesture on the part of the FairPrice Foundation is commendable, but it should also be extended to reach out to Singaporeans who are in dire need of help.
It is estimated that about 135,000 people here suffer from depression. People can fall into depression if they lose their jobs and face financial problems. It is happening overseas and it is happening here.
In Singapore, funds are raised on a national level for many types of physical illnesses, but not for for mental illness.
Even though psychiatric patients and family members are struggling to cope, no one has found it in their hearts to spare a thought for these forgotten citizens.
I therefore urge the FairPrice Foundation to consider giving a similar donation to benefit psychiatric patients and their caregivers as their welfare also needs to be looked into.
Such a donation can help kick-start a drive to raise funds on a national level for this group of citizens who have been left out in the cold for far too long.
Raymond Anthony Fernando