My letter on the above subject is published in The New Paper today, Wed , Oct 26 ,2011, page 20.
In its Masterplan for 2012-2016, the Centre for Enabling Living (CEL) is endeavoring to identify the needs of persons with disabilities at every phase of life, and see where there are gaps.
I read the information on CEL's website, but was disappointed to discover that other than the mental capacity act, there is no provision that covers proper structural support for persons suffering from mental illness and their caregivers.
Mental illness, like a physical illness, can be disabling. Person with mental illness are just as entitled to support as persons with a serious physical illness. This is what makes for an inclusive society.
I would therefore like to know if there are plans to provide a good structural support system for caregivers of the mentally ill & their afflicted loved ones in CEL's master plan.
A secondary question: Is there anyone to represent psychiatric patients and their caregivers on the CEL sub-committees? And if so, who represents us?
Getting people who have walked the journey will enable the Government to fully understand the struggles and growing needs that the mentally ill and their families face in their lonely and isolated lives.
Singapore can become an inclusive society only if it looks after all sectors of the population.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO