Research studies have raised concerns regarding the stress level and mental health of Singaporean citizens, and the way it influences their well-being, their engagement with schooling or work demands, and the reality of violence and crime in the family.
In recent years Singapore has adopted new approach to the arts as well as to the citizens’ well-being. The recognition of various art disciplines, which may contribute to human development and well-being, is taking new directions. I am happy to see the growing interest in the arts and the growing recognition of art therapy. However, I think that there is a need to establish clear professional criteria of the profession, which should be regulated.
Therapy is a very delicate job as it involves people who are at high risk. I am not convinced that offering “community wellness clinics” in more accessible areas in Singapore is the right approach to encourage “reducing stereotypes” related to mental health. Although it is important to afford people with access to art making experiences, it is necessary to make sure it does not creates the wrong impression on art therapy as an art &crafts activities.
Next month, on November 2019, I am going to represent the Art Therapy Association Singapore (ATAS) at the convention of the Singapore General Hospital’s professionals (doctors, nursing, Allied Health professionals and healthcare management), on the theme of this year: “Joy at Work”.
I am thrilled to present the vision about the role that Art Therapy may have in reinforcing the philosophy of SGH in "providing safe, quality care and experience to the patients". The theme of this year’s convention event is “Joy at Work” which has a significant aspect of self-care for professionals in the healthcare industry. I will introduce some technique in art therapy that may support enjoyable work environment and help de-stress the SGH team.