Main Forum Day 1 | Monday, 14 February 2022

Time Agenda
Addressing The Mental Health And Suicide Issues In Schools
09:45 Welcoming Speech, Opening Remarks & Thank You Sponsor Speech By Forum Chairperson
Dr Tony Mordini
Melbourne High School

Student Mental Health And Suicide Prevention: A Clinical Perspective Of The Challenges Of Stigmatization, Pitfalls And Long Term Intervention

Nearly everyone around the world has been afflicted or devastated directly or indirectly by the Coronavirus for 2 years and counting. In Singapore much has been done to alleviate and buffer this global calamity. We focus now on the care-giving aspects of mental health amongst students as well  care-givers. For professional laypeople who have found themselves unexpectedly in the care-giving role especially in non-clinical settings, what are some of the pitfalls and nuances that they should be aware of?  The irony is that though help is available, there seems to be an aversion in seeking help. We will explore some reasons why there have been such hesitancies or resistances to prevent an exacerbation and deterioration of the student’s well-being to prevent suicidal ideation and/or suicide itself as the only option in coping with pre-existing mental illness and/or stress.
Ben Ho
Counseling Psychologist


10:30 Improving Schools’ Readiness For Involvement In Suicide Prevention: Effective Suicide Prevention Practice In Secondary Schools

Schools have an important role to play in combatting suicide, a significant public health problem that disproportionately affects adolescents and young adults. Schools can work to reduce youth suicidality by adopting policies that align with best practice recommendations pertaining to suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) encourages a multiple-stakeholder approach to preventing suicides among youth, including collaborations between ministries and national agencies. At the ministerial level, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has sought to change the examination system and also introduce socio-emotional learning programmes in existing curriculum. MSF also refers mental health cases to the Child Guidance Clinic (CGC), which is housed under IMH.

Dr Ong Say How
Senior Consultant Psychiatrist & Chief of the Department of Developmental Psychiatry
Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Student Mental Health Best Practices
11:00 A Case Study: One World International School – Suntec Campus’ Approach To Student Wellbeing
With the recent events and the impact they have had on educational environments and approaches, student wellbeing is more important than it has ever been. Students should be supported in developing resilience and developing strategies to help them deal with the uncertainty of the world around them and with their reaction to these uncertainties. As one of the newest international schools in Singapore, OWIS Suntec has strived to develop a student wellbeing plan from day one that ensures that students are being provided with the tools and strategies they need to succeed not only academically but emotionally as well. They recognize that these skills and strategies must be taught from a young age and supported and nurtured throughout the academic life of a child.
Mark Renie
Head of School

One World International School – Suntec Campus
One World International School_logo
11:30 The Strengths Based Approach: Behaviour Management & Student Interaction With Pre-Teens & Teens
This session will provide the audience with information regarding the research support Strengths Based Approach to encouraging positive behaviour and interaction with students. This session will focus on what it is, and how the approach taken with students within an international middle school setting. As well as expected goals and results of the approach.
Travis Ion
Middle School – Head of Pastoral Care & Student Wellbeing

Stamford American International School, Singapore
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12:00 Promoting Student Mental Health In Challenging Transitions And Building Resilience For University Readiness

Starting university can be a wonderful and exciting time for students as they acquire new knowledge, meet new people, learn about themselves and others and form lasting friendships. It can also be layered with difficulties that can originate in the transition period; in high school the students are still tunnel-vision focussed on completing school and examination requirements. In university they’re shell shocked and need a bit of hand holding as they feel things out. One is an ending, the other is a beginning.

Ensuring student success is not merely a set of academic considerations. For most, this will be the first time they live away from home and are truly responsible for their life choices. In order to promote personal, social and academic readiness we will take a look at strategies/activities that promote personal awareness, build resilience and ultimately lead to students feeling excited and ready to ‘leave well’ to the next chapter of their lives.

Aidan Crowley
University Guidance Counsellor

St. Joseph’s Institution International (SJI International)
12:30 Lunch Break
13:30 A Whole School Approach To Destigmatising Mental Health
Apart from teachers and school counselors, peers are the next best people to provide social and emotional support for students in need or distress. At Temasek Polytechnic, peer support initiatives are just one of the many initiatives carried out to support their student wellbeing. The objective of this presentation is to share what are the other initiatives to help students or parents of students who have mental health concerns to understand the support for students and work with the school to the betterment of their mental health concerns. Some of the areas that will be covered are how to seek  help avenues for students, initiating E-forum on mental health topics, working with academic staff to support students and usage of technology to like chatbots.
Tan Sok Ngin
Senior Manager/ Student Care

Temasek Polytechnic (TP)
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Understanding Root Causes Of Mental Health And Suicide Trends
14:00 The Impact Of Social Media On Youth Mental Health
Social media has created an unprecedented and complex social environment for youth and their families to navigate. This has introduced new risks to youth mental health, but also potential opportunities for growth.

This session will cover the rapidly growing body of research on the impact of social media on youth mental health and synthesize what the current scientific evidence suggests about how, why and for whom social media use may have positive or negative effects.

The aim of the talk is to help parents and teachers better understand:

  • what makes youth engage with and respond to social media in adaptive or maladaptive ways;
  • if there are specific social media behaviours or experiences that could increase youth risk or resilience to mental health issues; and
  • how they can help youth navigate social media in a safe(r) way.
Dr Jacqueline Lee Tilley
Assistant Professor | Psychology and Child & Human Development Area Group

National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Jacqueline Tilley new logo
14:30 Tackling “Shame-Based” Stigma And Discrimination Surrounding Mental Health Issues
High levels of stigma hinder those who need help from seeking it. There is a high level of stigma around mental health issues, which makes it difficult for youth to speak about suicidal thoughts. Seen as cowardly and selfish behaviour, such conversations often result in distrust, shunning and avoidance by others. Such judgment tends to stem from ignorance, fear and misunderstanding. More efforts to raise public awareness are therefore necessary to improve information and dialogue on youth suicide.
Mui Hua Catherine Toh
Counsellor/ Researcher/ Volunteer/ Mental Health Advocate Doctor of Philosophy (Health)
James Cook University, Candidate
James Cook University_logo
The Hidden Signs And Symptoms Of Student Mental Health Issues
15:00 Identifying Warning Signs Of Hidden Student Depression, Mental Illness, Anxiety And Suicidal Thinking: How To Effectively Spot Early Indications Of Mental Health Struggle
  • How students can identify a friend in need
  • Implementing awareness, staff training and resources to educate so your school is equipped to address and manage student mental health
  • Engaging your staff in a continuous dialogue about the mental wellbeing of your school community
  • Promoting open communication between students and staff to help with early detection of mental health issues
Bobby Teng
Psychology Trained Clinical Counsellor | Certified Hypnotherapist and Time-Line Therapist
Cyber Well-Being
15:30 Importance Of Managing Cyber Addiction In Adolescents
About 2 in 3 Singaporeans admit they have a social networking and Internet addiction. Any device that has internet access can be addictive, such as smartphones or tablets. This problem is most common among young adults. They may have an Internet gaming addiction when they spend so much time playing online games or on the Internet that it affects their daily life.

How does it affect them? If they become addicted to games or using the Internet, their grades could drop, they are unable to go to school, their relationship with family becomes strained, they sleep poorly, they do not feel like eating, and they feel depressed or angry. This presentation will take a closer look into the gamer motivations, learn how to identify warning signs, how you can support them and ways to develop cyber well-being in schools.

Mr. Willie Soh
Chief Enabling Officer
MindConnexions Pte Ltd
Fire-Side Chat
16:00 Lived Expertise And The Difference It Makes With One-On-One Counselling For Youth Who Are Experiencing Suicidal Ideation Or Living With Mental Health Issues Diagnosed Or Not
Asher Low
Executive Director / Social Worker

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16:30 Closing Remarks By Forum Chairperson
Dr Tony Mordini
Melbourne High School


Main Forum Day 2 | Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Time Agenda
09:45 Welcoming Speech, Opening Remarks & Thank You Sponsor Speech By Forum Chairperson
Dr Tony Mordini
Melbourne High School
Building Mental Resiliency In Schools

Building Mental Resiliency To Prevent Student Depression And Promote Mindfulness And Empathy

In the 2016 Singapore Mental Health Study conducted by the Institute of Mental Health, one in seven Singapore residents have experienced at least one mental condition in their lifetime and major depressive disorder is the number one condition.

Mindfulness is effective in the understanding of our thoughts, feeling and actions. It empowers us to take the necessary pauses which increases mental resilience so as to manage life’s challenges. Cultivating mindfulness also enhances our empathy for others and promotes care for ourselves, which are essential preventive measures against depression.

Jackie Wong
Student Care Manager / Pastoral Guidance Counsellor

School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University Singapore

Improving Students’ Wellbeing Through Positive Psychology

Most institutions have an excellent socioemotional support and intervention structure in place. How about prevention and education? What role do they play in the equation? How can we promote positive framing and encourage a mindset shift in students?

This sharing looks at how we can apply the science of Positive Psychology to build and harness students’ psychological resources to develop personal resilience, improve wellbeing and promote happiness. Armed with the knowledge and experience, students will hopefully be equipped with the life skills and confidence to overcome challenges and thrive in an increasingly VUCA world.

Benjamin Chan
Head, Soft Skills & Pastoral Care
Senior Lecturer, Psychology and Counselling

School of Business, Singapore Polytechnic
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11:00 Panel Discussion:

To Build Mental Wellness And Resilience Among The Students: The Role Of School, Community And Health Care And In Youth Mental Health Prevention And Intervention

Prevention and early intervention are recognized key elements for minimizing the impact of any potentially serious health condition. However, while representing a field of remarkable achievement, that of early intervention in youth health is a target not completely accomplished yet.

  • This session will discuss what are the needs of for implementing prevention and early intervention in youth mental health
  • What are the challenges and learning from implementation of this changes
  • How can partnership build a better community and environment to support student with mental health challenges

Jiow-Hee-Jhee-roundedDr Jiow Hee Jhee
Associate Professor – Business, Communication and Design Cluster
Programme Leader – BSc (Hons) Digital Communications and Integrated Media
Programme Leader – BA (Hons) Criminology and Security

Singapore Institute of Technology

Mark Renie
Head of School
One World International School – Suntec Campus
One World International School_logo
Ms Michelle Koay
High School Counsellor
St. Joseph’s Institution International (SJI International)
Babara Maria Seet
Counsellor / Digital Mental Coach with Thoughtfull & Associate Mediator – Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
Psychotherapist & Counsellor – BPsych, MCounselling (Adv)
Director of Reset Right
Director & Co-Founder of Mental ACT
(Certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Suicide Intervention)
Improving Mental Health With Technology
12:00 Experiential Learning And Strategies To Develop Empathy Towards Persons With Depression Through The Use Of Technology
Do You M.I.N.D.? is a programme by TOUCH Community Services that uses innovative approaches such as adventure-based experiential learning and virtual reality immersive experience to equip youths with knowledge to mind their mental health. With the aid of VR headsets, the experience allows users to look through the eyes of a youth with depression and experience the symptoms associated with the condition.

Research has shown that VR training yields a 75% retention rate as compared to just a 5% and 10% rate for lecture-style learning and reading respectively. Hence, the VR Immersive Experience is expected to enhance learning and empathy in participants towards persons with depression.

Joel Wong
Social Worker
TOUCH Mental Wellness/ TOUCH Youth Intervention/
TOUCH Integrated Family Group/ TOUCH Community Services
Touch logo
12:30 Lunch Break
Mental Health Intervention Strategies
14:00 Case Study – Upper Room: How  Touch Community Uses Evidence-Based Therapeutic Modalities To Support Student Wellbeing
Upper Room is a 12-month mental health intervention programme by TOUCH Mental Wellness under TOUCH Community Services. It was recently awarded Outstanding Award at the Wofoo Asian Award for Advancing Family Well-Being 2020. It caters to youths aged 12 – 25 in Singapore. Upper Room aims to improve the functioning of youths with mental health issues by strengthening their intrapersonal and interpersonal capacities, teaching coping skills, and helping families to better manage their psychological distress. As influences within the family system and its members are bi-directional, the programme builds the system’s self-regulatory abilities to manage stressors and promote positive family functioning. This is in line with TOUCH’s vision of building strong families.

Upper Room uses evidence-based therapeutic modalities to support clients at three levels:

  • Individual counselling helps with emotional stabilisation and management of maladaptive behaviours. Relapse management is explored through building youths’ socioemotional capacities.
  • Family counselling and psychoeducation strengthen understanding and communication within the family system about the youths’ mental state and how support their recovery.
  • Peer-support groupwork provides safety and acceptance for youths to share their lived experiences and learn coping skills.
Andrea Chan
Assistant Director
TOUCH Mental Wellness/ TOUCH Family Support/
TOUCH Integrated Family Group/ TOUCH Community Services
Touch logo
Empowering Care-Giver With Mental Health Strategies
14:30 Conversations At St Joseph’s Institution International: How To Create Bespoke Parent Groups Within A School Setting To Education & Strategize Prevention
School counsellors typically work with students in one-to-one sessions when they present with social-emotional issues. However, we can be more proactive to explore prevention and education strategies to engage parents of students within a school setting. It is easier to conduct large-scale lectures which are didactic in nature and many parents will be able to attend, but it does not provide parents sufficient opportunity to interact with one another and be actively involved in conversation to enhance their learning.

This presentation explores the work which has been developed over the past eight years, sharing principles and guidelines of how to create bespoke parent groups within the school, and to develop them to suit the profile of your students and parent community.

Michelle Koay
High School Counsellor

St. Joseph’s Institution International (SJI International)
Improving Teachers And Principals Well-Being
15:00 Fire-Side Chat: Keeping Teachers From Burning Out And Improving Wellbeing Of Principals In Schools
Teacher burnout prevention is one of the most pressing needs in the educational sphere today. Teacher burnout requires that administration, teachers, support personnel and aides all work together to create a more nurturing environment for teachers. This session will cover how do teachers and principal can better manage acute stress. How to keep teachers in the profession beyond the first five years? How to help teachers from burning out?


Babara Maria Seet
Counsellor / Digital Mental Coach with Thoughtfull & Associate Mediator – Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
Matthew Scott
Middleton International School
Middleton logo
15:45 Closing Remarks By Forum Chairperson
Dr Tony Mordini
Melbourne High School


Post-Forum Workshops | Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Workshop A:
From Creative To Resilience: Using Art To Achieve Self-Care And Stress Relieve
10:30AM – 12:00PM
Workshop A
Art is a powerful medium, it allows individuals to express emotions and search for answers. Art therapists use this tool to help their clients to achieve their goals through the art-making process and different materials. Art Therapy has been used with different populations and each population has achieved various positive outcomes. The workshop will be introducing what art therapy is, briefly explore this form of intervention and how it helps various populations. Experiential will be conducted in this workshop to demonstrate the use of art and how it can help individuals to achieve stress relief and self-care.
Andrew Tan
Founder/Art Psychotherapist, AThR
Creative Bear
Workshop B:
Managing Psychological Energy For Personal Wellbeing
1:00PM – 2:30PM
Workshop B
This is an experiential workshop where participants will learn to manage their cognitive, emotional, and spiritual energy in trying times. The workshop allows them to understand and experience the importance of aligning their energy for optimal work performance. They will learn to apply the science of psychology to manage the different dimensions of their energy and understand how this affects their overall wellbeing. Finally, they will identify an area in their life that is important to them.


Benjamin Chan
Head, Soft Skills & Pastoral Care
Senior Lecturer, Psychology and Counselling
School of Business, Singapore Polytechnic


Farah Seet
Certified EQ and Insights Practitioner and Assessor
Senior Lecturer, Soft Skills and Pastoral Care
School of Business, Singapore Polytechnic

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