From the desk of Model Caregiver Raymond Anthony Fernando
7th December 2017
To whom it may concern
Working or studying or abroad comes with a wide range of emotions. Happy, excited and thrilled for the opportunity to live in another country and meet people of different races and cultures, but at the same time feeling homesick and grappling with separation anxiety later when the excitement wears down.
For foreigners – whether they are migrant workers or domestic helpers, the most crucial part of adjusting to life in a different country is during the first three months. This group will begin to show signs of homesickness and being without their loved ones after a couple of months; and then they could be struggling with anxiety disorders which in the worst-case scenario could lead to depression.
While local can easily reach out to their families, it is more difficult for foreigners to do so as some could be bottling pent-up emotions.
In the case of domestic helpers, they work long and draining hours to serve the many needs of their employers, who at times can be demanding. The helpers could be suffering in silence and may not be aware that they could be showing classic signs of some mental disorders or even becoming suicidal. We have read media reports of maids either harming their charges or harming themselves when they are unable to cope.
But if migrant workers or helpers are able to fully recognize the symptom of their stress levels, they as well as their employers may be able to save or reclaim a life.
As part of my on-going public education of mental illness in which I have got 40 years hands-on experience in taking care of my late wife who had coped with schizophrenia, I go all over Singapore on my own accord or at times partnering IMH or VWOs to educate people on mental illness conditions.
I enclose a document from IMH confirming my commitment in this area.
I would love to reach out to migrant workers and domestic helpers and if need be to their employers to educate, inspire and motivate everyone to be in a good position to manage mental illness.
In this 45-minute talk, I will cover my wife's 37-year battle with schizophrenia and depression, the trials and tribulations of our courtship and 37-year marriage and her miraculous recovery. The talk will also provide an insightful peek into caring for a loved one stricken with mental illness. I will also provide useful caregiver tips in managing loved ones with mental illnesses and what are the warning signs that people, including supervisors, caregivers, retirees, office colleagues, students, parents, employers, employees, volunteers and even a layman need to look out for in helping someone cope with schizophrenia – believed to be the most distressing mental disorder.
My talk also promotes the sanctity of marriage- caring for a spouse, " in sickness & in health."
(b) Talk: Depression, Beat it, Defeat it
In this 45-minute talk, I will cite some of the causes of depression, provide useful tips on how to better manage depression and what are the warning signs that one must look out for in tackling depression. This talk is also based on my own battle with depression for several years and how I overcame this illness and charted several new directions in life.
I require a LCD Projector, laptop that can screen my power-point slides onto a screen, windows media player with speakers to broadcast my montage (5.6-minute video), and a table to promote a book on real life experience of persons who have been healed from mental illness.
PORTFOLIO OF RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, ghostwriter, media celebrity and a regular newspaper forum page writer. He is a volunteer with Silver Ribbon Singapore and the Institute of Mental Health; and is Singapore’s leading advocate for the mentally ill. The author of 30 books was married to Doris Lau whom he groomed to become an author of 8 books. Raymond has written on a wide range of subjects through the media and in his books, and it includes real life stories, relationships, marriage, social issues, advocacy, ghost stories, humour, children’s stories, poems, creative suggestions and spiritual content. Raymond who was chosen as Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010 is born on Valentine’s Day. He has contributed 31 years’ service in the public sector, has 15 years’ experience in public relations work and has received several awards and commendations from government organisations.
May I look forward to securing the $1,000 sponsored project? And to get a reply from you – soonest. Thank you.
Raymond Anthony Fernando