Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Senior citizens with mental illness

Raymond's letter to the press: : Provide a support network & revive the kampung spirit

I refer to the report, “Terrified women run away when she appears ” (The New Paper, 17 Oct).

Once again, an elderly citizen who lives in isolation and displays signs of bizarre behaviour has ended up in depressing circumstances.

The risk factors for depression and other mental illnesses in the elderly include living alone and having to struggle with bereavement. The old woman who caned women in shorts is probably in this predicament.

We need to reach out to the lonely elderly and those who have chronic illnesses as they are likely to fall into depression when they feel that nobody cares for them.

To enable our seniors to lead more meaningful lives, the Government could put in place a network that can rprovide ongoing support for this group of citizens.

For example, when an elderly citizen passes on, then the Registry of Births and Deaths can tie-up with a relevant government agency to check if any family member is left to live alone.

If this is the case, then the respective Member of Parliament (MP) and his grassroots leaders of his constituency should pay a home visit to this person and offer any assistance that is needed.

The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports should revive the Kampung spirit that was very much alive the '50s' and '60s'.

In those days, one can be assured of a helping hand and even the sharing of a bowl of rice, ikan bilis and sambal belachan.

The MPs and mayors should also make sporadic visits to our lonely elderly so that they feel cared for.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Raymond's letter to the press on noise pollution

Raymond's letter to the Press: Forced to move due to noise pollution
Why no control on noise levels?
My letter to the New Paper was published, today, Saturday 17 October 2009, Page 27.

RECENTLY, my wife and I had to leave our flat to find alternative accommodation.

This is because of the noise pollution coming simultaneously from the lift upgrading programme, the building of a child care centre on our void deck, the re-surfacing of the road in front of our block and the noise generated from the chanting of prayers and beating of drums during the Mooncake Festival that went on continuously for a week from morning to 11pm every night.

Why is all this allowed?

How can one have any peace of mind with all this noise pollution?

Patients with mental illness will relapse if they are hounded by excessive noise.

It happened to my wife in 2006.

Also, due to my wife's arthritis that leaves her mobility impaired, I have no choice but to take taxis to ferry her wherever she goes. The 35 per cent surcharge is eating holes in my pockets as I do not have a fulltime job.

I appeal to the authorities to show some compassion for those with diablities.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

SHE CAN WRITE A BOOK: Raymond's letter to the New Paper on Ris Low

This letter was published on Saturday 3 October 2009, Page 27

I refer to the report, “More legal woes for Ris?” (The New Paper, 30 Sept).

I am deeply saddened over the manner in which beauty queen Ris Low has been heavily criticised.

Although she has made mistakes in her life, Ris performed well during the run-up to the finals of the Miss Singapore World pageant.

For someone struggling with a bipolar condition or depression, Ris has, in my opinion, performed exceptionally well. She was determined to succeed and she was well behaved.

More importantly, Ris wanted to turn her life around. But she was condenmed so much that she was pressured to give up the crown.

What I find disturbing is this whole episode is that we seem to be breeding a society where people find it so hard to forgive.

The Government has been appealing to the public to give ex-prisoners a second chance in life. Yet, Ris Low was not given a chance when her conviction for a credit card fraud came to light.

Every one of us makes mistakes in life. Rather than put her down we should help Ris rebuild her life bearing in mind what Oprah Winfrey once said: “Lots of people want to ride with you in the Limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the Limo breaks down.”

For a start, I urge companies to sponsor Ris for diction and public speaking courses, so that she will be well positioned to make a sterling comeback.

I have struggled with depression for several years and my wife is recovering from schizophrenia.

But through the wonderful support of many kind-hearted people who walk alongside us, we have charted new directions in life and found our means of living through writing.

Someday, Ris, write your own novel and speak of your own struggles in life.

Equipped with good public speaking skills, you too will be able to chart new directions in life. Who knows, your book might just become a bestseller.

You may have lost the Miss Singapore crown, but you will always be a winner in my eyes.