Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Those who save and reclaim lives are heroes: Raymond’s letter to the press

My letter to MediaCorp’s TODAY newspaper on the above subject gets published , today, Wed 6th August 2014.

There are many unsung heroes in our midst who are prepared to go the extra mile to change lives. (“What makes an everyday hero?”; Talking Point).

A hero need not be a soldier who saves people during wartime. He or she can be anyone who can reclaim and save lives in peacetime and is prepared to make sacrifices.

These include our dedicated nurses, prison officers, laymen and even family carers.

I have read reports of how some Singaporeans have saved suicidal people from killing themselves, putting their own safety in jeopardy.

One such case in June involved a man who stopped an elderly neighbour from jumping from a height. To me, he is a hero and such good Samaritans should be recognised.

Archbishop William Goh, in his National Day message in the Catholic News, calls on Catholics to open their eyes to those on the fringes of society, among them the elderly sick, former prisoners and patients with psychiatric disorders.

Regrettably, many in society still cannot accept people with mental illness.

So those who are prepared to take the road less travelled and help patients with mental illness recover and turn their lives around, be they family carers or healthcare workers, are heroes.

Agents of change are also heroes. In the early years of television, I never failed to catch the Dr Ben Casey series. I admired his commitment to save lives — at times, he took on the establishment when he felt there was too much red tape. He was everyone’s hero.

There is nothing wrong in giving awards to those who have an earnest desire to save and reclaim lives. It can spur others to do likewise (“Do we still need heroes in today’s world?”; Aug 5).

We must touch society so it feels for every human. Once we can achieve that, Singapore can become the best home in which to live, work and play.


 Footnote:  What can help to expedite the formation of this proposed ministry for psychiatric patients and their caregivers is for the archdiocesan to tie-up with CLARITY, the Catholic Nurses Guild , the SPI which has a Family Service Centre and  volunteer Catholic doctors and nurses who are in the field of mental health and this can get going.  We must translate words into action.

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