Cas Learning Outcome: 6 – Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
On the 25th of September 2017, the SUNDAC service group went on a bus to Bedok to meet our SUNDAC clients at the SUNDAC center for the first time. This was the first interaction I have ever had with people of different mental illnesses or disabilities.
Although we only spoke to a few clients for a short period of time, around 20 minutes, I can say that SUNDAC was nothing like I had expected it to be like. It was honestly quite heartbreaking and I felt really sorry for the clients but it also helped me understand how important service really is. After visiting them and seeing the state they are actually in, I believe that I am more motivated to help them integrate in society and for them to live happier lives. It’s so important for people to get past the social stigma against mental disabilities and help them be avid members of society. This does not only apply to those mentally disabled at SUNDAC or in Singapore, it applies to the world. Mental disabilities are not something to be afraid of, they should be understood and learnt about so the members of the public can help them in times of need and create relationships with them. They are present in every community and are in various different forms. It can be hard to understand and thats why I’m very happy I chose SUNDAC as my service as it will give me a chance to interact with mentally disabled in public which can help open the minds of the public. By seeing some teenagers from an international school interacting with the mentally disabled is a great step towards eradicating the social stigma. Although, completely getting rid of the social stigma is ideal, it will most likely not be reached but a little change can go a long way. Despite only meeting the SUNDAC clients once a week, I believe that I will be able to positively affect their lives for the better and hopefully I will be able to open other people’s minds as well.
A challenge that I think I will face when trying to work with the clients will be communicating with them as they do not always process or understand what I am trying to say. This will be a challenge but will definitely help me enhance my communication skills and make me more comfortable when communicating with different groups of people.