Thursday, July 25, 2013

Raymond's letter to the press: Let's donate to the mentally ill

My letter to MediaCorp's TODAY Newspaper was published on Thursday 25th July 2013.

I applaud the generosity of the 11 Malay Members of Parliament from the People’s Action Party who recently donated $15,000 in total to non-profit organisation Club Heal, which was formed last year to help people with mental illness regain confidence and reintegrate into society.

Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim mentioned that although the donation was not large, it signals their strong support towards the making of a more inclusive society.

Club Heal has strong political support; its patrons are Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob and another MP, Mr Zaqy Mohamed.

I hope that the generosity and compassion of these MPs will motivate other MPs to contribute to everyone in the psychiatric community here, given that mental illness affects all races.

We have more than 80 elected MPs; if all of them contribute $1,000 at the end of the year, more than $80,000 could be raised for psychiatric patients and their caregivers of all races. If the Government matches dollar for dollar, the fund for this marginalised group would top $160,000.

The next step would be to raise funds for this group on national television. Caregivers and patients who are coping well could move the audience with their true stories. And I have every confidence that Singaporeans would step forward readily and give generously.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

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