Is There Hope For Depression?

On Saturday (12 Dec 2020) afternoon, we held the 6th Lee Kim Tah Lecture titled, ‘Depression – There’s Hope’. It was the first time that we held as a free webinar over Zoom. We had with us four distinguished speakers, Dr William Wan, Dr Chee Tji Tjian, A/Prof Mahendran and Prof Kua Ee Heok who shared with the audience their experiences and insights about depression.

You can watch the replay of the webinar here: https://youtu.be/sIHy8qhi-FE

Our First Speaker, Dr William Wan, General Secretary of Singapore Kindness Movement, shared his personal stories of the two major down moments in his life. The first was when he had to deal with his then-rebellious daughter who dropped out of school, and the second was when he was fired from his job at the age of 51. Dr Wan mentioned 3 Fs that prevented him from spiralling down into depression – his Faith, Fighting Spirit and Fearless Sharing.

Dr Chee Tji Tjian, NUH Consultant child psychiatrist, spoke about how children express sadness or “depression” differently from adults as they have yet to learn the socially appropriate ways of displaying their emotions. He highlighted the importance of preventing depression in children and shared tips on how parents can develop healthy and happy children.

A/Prof Rathi Mahendran, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist of NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, shared about how depression in older adults is less obvious and more difficult to detect. Depression when left untreated can result in or worsen other co-occuring illnesses. She shared about how depression can be treated following the bio-psycho-social approach.

Our last speaker Prof Kua Ee Heok, Tan Geok Yin Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience at NUS, presented the findings from his Jurong Aging Survey on Depression Prevention that was started in 2012. He introduced the Age Well Everyday (AWE) programme by Mind Science Centre that is currently running at 8 different centres.

Hearing from our speakers, it is heart-warming to know that there is still indeed hope in preventing and treating depression.

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