My letter to The Sunday Times on the above matter was published today-Sunday 12th October 2014.
It was both heart-rending and inspiring to read about how Mr Chow Yen Lu lost his son and is now helping others (“After the heartbreak of son’s suicide”; last Sunday).
Coping with a loved one struggling with mental illness, or losing a loved one through suicide or a sudden illness, can be a very painful experience.
Speaking openly about the loss makes the burden of grief easier to bear. To this end, I am encouraged that Mr Chow has been open about his late son’s depression, in an effort to destigmatise mental illness.
It is also commendable that he used this experience to help others, by setting up the Over The Rainbow foundation to promote mental health and wellness.
I have overcome depression and a suicide attempt, and have four decades of caregiving skills from looking after my late wife, who had schizophrenia.
I believe that when you have the skills, experience and knowledge, you should share them with others. So I hope to offer my services to Mr Chow’s foundation as well as to Singapore Creations ETC, which seeks to help youth from different backgrounds find themselves through the performing arts.
Raymond Anthony Fernando