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NUS Medical Students Provide Free Mass Health Screening

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By Audrey Ng

About 600 students from the National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies were on hand at Ang Mo Kio hub on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29 to help out with a free public health screening.

Organized by the NUS Medical Society, the annual public health screening took place as part of this year’s National Day celebrations with the theme “Come together – Reaching Out, Reaching Up.”

Free health screening was available to all members of the public above the age of 21.

“We want to send out a message to the public that they can lead a healthy lifestyle by taking preventive measures and going for checkups early,” Tan Zeying, project director of the event said.

Participants were first given a questionnaire on their lifestyle habits to fill in to identify any potential health problems.

Following that, they were directed to booths where they would be checked for common illnesses such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

There were also screening booths for smokers, checking of one’s Body Mass Index, blood glucose level and blood pressure, and eye tests.

Consultation with senior medical students and doctors were also available if one wanted to consult a doctor for medical advice.

“We can only do a surface check up as we don’t have all the necessary facilities here,” a first year medical student, Jonathan Ng said. “From there on, we would recommend the people to go to a polyclinic for a follow-up session.”

“The old people look very happy and I think it’s a meaningful thing that we’re doing,” Ng said.

A 61-year-old participant, Tan Chee Joo, said he went for the screening because he was approached by students walking around Ang Mo Kio hub and decided to go since there was not much crowd.

“I was very pleased that the service was good and I waited for only 10 minutes,” Tan said in Mandarin.

Another participant, 59-year-old Cheng Choon Chwee, said that the whole process was very fast, although perhaps there could be tests to check for cancer, something which would be of more concern to the elderly.

Educational booths were also set up by partner organizations such as the Diabetic Society of Singapore and Singapore Heart Foundation.

The NUS Medical Society tied up with various partners for the event, which include organizations like the Health Promotion Board, SingHealth, National Healthcare Group and Singapore Cancer Society.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:49 am

Posted in Event Articles, Social

A Friend a Day Keeps All Troubles Away

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By: Kuik Kian Wei

“And as our lives change from whatever, we will still be friends forever.”

Youths who were hanging around outside Plaza Singapura were drawn to the stage by the mass sing-along session to the song Graduation led by Superband champion, Mi Lu Bing, and their fans.

This marked the end of the first day of Posse, an event that featured an array of performances by Mi Lu Bing, Mediacorp celebrity Joanne Peh, and other local artistes such as The Silhouette and 98.7FM beatbox champion Zul Mystroe.

The star-studded event was held on Sept. 12 outside Plaza Singapura as a celebration for friendship in conjunction with the World Mental Health Day. It was organized by Audible Hearts, an online peer support portal for youths funded by the Health Promotion Board.

On top of the performance, an exhibition was also held over the weekend. The exhibits offered reflections on the meaning of friendship and how meaningful relationships could be built and maintained.

The objective of the two-day event was to emphasize the importance of friendship in contributing to the mental wellness of youths.

Lam Pin Woon, CEO of Health Promotion Board and the Guest of Honour of the event, commended the organizers for their effort to raise awareness of mental wellness for the youths.

“It is a good initiative for youths by youths,” Lam said.

When asked about the recent trend of mental wellness of youths, Lam said that youths today are facing a large amount of the stress as society places high expectations on them. As a result, the mental health of youths is becoming an increasingly pressing issue.

Tan Yock Theng, an organizer from Audible Hearts, said that statistics from their online support forum showed other problems youths were facing, which were generally related to families, friends and other relationships.

As a tip to cope with mental issues, the various performing artistes said that effective communication is vital in keeping mental problems at bay as well as to maintain balanced relationships.

When asked about the importance of friendship in their lives, Superband champion Mi Lu Bing said that communication and honesty are the key elements that have kept their band strong over the years.

98.7FM DJ Daniel Ong, one of the hosts for the event, also stressed the importance of communication.

“Keep communicating; do not let communication break down. The moment you close up, mental problems will occur,” Ong said.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:47 am

Posted in Event Articles, Social

Opportunity for active golden-agers to play sports

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By: Chng Ming Li

Active agers had a chance to enjoy a day in the sunshine and take part in a slow paced sport at a half-day lawn bowls event.

The Singapore Lawn Bowls Association conducted an introductory course to encourage seniors to be active golden-agers and to raise awareness of the sport of Lawn Bowls on 12th September, Saturday.

About 20 seniors attended the event at Kallang Green, Stadium Boulevard, and they were exposed to the benefits of pursing sports activities and a positive attitude.

The Lawn Bowls National Team conducted short talks that emphasized the need for seniors to lead healthy, active lives and how lawn bowls offers that opportunity.

Participants were taught the history and basics of lawn bowls and were led through an hour-long hands-on session with qualified national team players.

“This bowls clinic kills two birds with one stone. It sends the message that seniors can continue to lead healthy lifestyles and it gives us the chance to showcase our sport,” Sebastian Tan, Bowls Singapore President said during his opening address at the event.

He said the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports encourages organizations to provide seniors with more opportunities to be socially active and urged participants to engage in sporting activities.

Koh Yoke Chan, a 48-year-old participant, said that Lawn Bowls was difficult because of the heat but feels that she could learn to like the game.

“The relatively light demands of bowls make it suitable for seniors,” Koh said.

Amongst the lawn bowlers present at the event was Chia Tee Chiak, a 56-year-old national player who won the silver medal at the 2007 South East Asian Games.

A senior citizen, Chia is an example of a role model who exemplifies the values of active aging.

Chia placed third in national rankings and is part of the national squad that trains twice a week. He also qualified for regional and international competitions that brought him to countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

Chia advocates that continual participation in sports would enhance one’s well being and quality of life.

Lawn bowls is a precision sport where the goal is to roll balls, called bowls, as close to the target ball, called a jack, as possible. There are about 200 active bowlers of all ages in Singapore.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:47 am

Posted in Event Articles, Social

Posse celebrates friendship among youth

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By: Lim Pei Wen

More than a 100 youths gathered at the Open Plaza of Plaza Singapura to celebrate friendship with song and dance.

Organized by Audible Hearts and supported by the Health Promotion Board, Posse featured celebrities and performers that came together to emphasize to youths the importance of strong social support networks, built through friendships and peer support, to enhance emotional and mental wellbeing.

Mediacorp artist, Joanne Peh performed the song “Love Story” by Taylor Swift and other performers included local rock band The Silhouette, 98.7 FM beatbox champion Zul Mystroe, as well as Freaky Z and Band.

The highlight of the evening, however, was a mass singing session that came at the end of Superband Mi Lu Bing’s set as the crowd sang along to two songs, ‘Graduation’ and ‘Built to Last’.

As firm believers of the cause themselves, Lead Singer of Mi Lu Bing, Nic said “We’ve come thus far because of friendship. Friendship is always being there whenever you need help,” referring to how the three members of his band have been friends since they were children.

CEO of the Health Promotion Board, Lam Pin Woon, who was the guest of honour of the event, felt that youths nowadays are getting more concerned about having a healthy state of mind.

“Youths nowadays have a high level of stress and they need a way to release stress. Posse is a meaningful event as it is solely an event by youths for youths and we see a lot of initiatives by them,” Lam said.

Elizabeth Chan, 27, a volunteer with Audible Hearts for three years, feels that issues such as boy girl relationship, peer pressure or family are the main factors likely to cause mental issues among youths.

She thinks that the way to handle problems that youths faced is to show empathy. “We have to let these youths know that they are not alone. We are always there to lend a listening ear to them,” she said.

Audible Hearts, the organizer of the event, is a web service offering free counselling by youth volunteers. It started in 2006 and currently has more than 30 volunteers, aged between 17 and 27.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:22 am

Posted in Social

A joyous call to celebrate friendships

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By: Goy Soon Ting Elisa

Singapore—The loud blaring music at the open plaza of Plaza Singapura attracted a crowd of people from all walks of life, enjoying the merry musical performances by popular local talents at the Posse event.

Posse was organised by Audible Hearts, an online counselling website, as part of their programme to commemorate World Mental Health Day 2009 for youths and was held last Saturday to celebrate the importance of friendships. Through Posse, Audible Hearts, which is part of the Health Promotion Board, aims to encourage youths to cultivate strong social networks through friendships and peer support to enhance their emotional and mental well-being.

Popular local talents like Media Corp artiste Joanne Peh, Superband champion Mi Lu Bing and others performed on stage to the delight of the audience. They also shared their views on friendships with the captivated audience.

According to Peh, her best friend knows what is going on in her life and understands her commitments. Due to her busy schedule, Peh felt that the Internet as the easiest means of maintaining friendships through blogs and Facebook.

During the musical performances, prizes were given to winners of the Pitch’09 competition and the Best Buddy Forever contest.

The Pitch’09 marketing competition required secondary school students to pit their marketing skills against 14 other schools to develop campaigns to promote the importance of social support and mental wellness among their peers in their respective schools.

One of the winners of the Pitch’09 competition, Low Yu Ting, 15, from Junyuan Secondary School said, “I have learnt to think of the mental health of others. Don’t make them feel alienated and help those who are introverted.”

The Best Buddy Forever contest encouraged youths to submit photographs or videos in appreciation of their best buddy. Youths can vote for their favourite submissions through the Audible Hearts website.

Lam Pin Woon, CEO of Health Promotion Board, thought the turnout of the Posse event was very encouraging.

“The youths are taking ownership of their health and they are coming forward to attend the event,” Lam said.

In Singapore’s high paced society, Lam believes that youths need an outlet to de-stress by mingling with their peers.

Audible Hearts is an online platform manned by professional volunteers who offer support, guidance and a listening ear to youths anonymously. The youths’ problems are kept private and confidential.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:20 am

Posted in Social

Needy families upgrade their financial skills

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By: Siti Nurasyikin Binte Azman

Needy Muslim families attended a financial planning workshop and put their knowledge into practice at the Ramadhan-On-Wheels charity event with the help of volunteers from all walks of life.

The Malay Youth Literary Association selected 256 families from the low income and elderly population to benefit from the annual charity event held on Sept. 12, 2009 and recruited 1,400 people from different race and religion as volunteers.

A day before the charity event, beneficiaries attended a financial planning workshop on personal finance management to better equip them with skills to manage their financial situation.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Teo Chee Hean said, “It is events like this that encourage social, racial and religious harmony in Singapore.”

Ramadhan-On-Wheels kicked off with beneficiaries putting their new found knowledge into practice when they shopped for necessities at the Giant hypermarket located at Tampines.

Volunteers played the role of advisors and gave suggestions to their beneficiaries on how to spend the $150 voucher sponsored by the organizers.

At dusk, participants gathered at Simei Institute of Technical Education and anticipated for the Takbir which are cries of prayers that signalled the time to break fast.

It was sight of camaraderie as participants of different races and religions shared food served on large plates.

“It was my first time fasting and it took a lot of determination. Going without food and water and finally sharing a plate of food with five other people was special. I felt a bond with them,” said Lee Jia Yan, a student volunteer from Nanyang Technological University.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 10:16 am

Posted in Social