Part of our work as Ambassadors is helping at CHAT events, and volunteering to speak on youth mental health. We speak to Elbie, who has played a very active role in speaking at CHAT events. (Psst: she will be speaking at the upcoming COMPASSION talk on Burst the Silence!)
R-L: Ming Hui (CHAT Staff), Elbie after speaking at the invisible play in early 2016!
How did you know of CHAT Ambassadors, and what motivated you to apply?
The very first time I heard of CHAT Ambassadors was during my school’s annual Psychology Studies Conference in 2014. I was familiar with CHAT as I had volunteered with CHAT once during the Burst The Silence roadshow and accompanied a friend for her mental health check-up appointment, so I was eager to get more involved with this curious organization with the cute green mascot! Since I feel strongly about youth mental health, applying to become a CHAT Ambassador felt like a concrete step towards becoming a better mental health advocate and learning more about the mental health scene in Singapore.
What was your project, and why did you choose to embark on it? Has it helped you personally or professionally?
My project was the CHAT Corner. Basically, the idea was to make CHAT a more permanent presence in tertiary institutions, as the bulk of CHAT outreach efforts are transient in nature i.e. one-off talks, roadshows. We aimed to build a space in tertiary institutions where students can readily access CHAT materials and gather to discuss mental health issues/promote mental well-being. Although the project was ultimately unable to come to fruition, it has taught me valuable project management skills and to never underestimate the complexity of a project! As the project progressed, my group became aware of more and more moving parts, shifting gears, and logistical issues we never thought to consider. The CHAT Corner project has certainly enhanced my understanding of what conceptualizing and realising a project entails.
Were there any memorable moments during the time you have been with CHAT Ambassadors? What other opportunities did CHAT offer you as an Ambassador?
On top of planning CHAT Corner, being a CHAT Ambassador has allowed me to try my hand at many other things! I was given the opportunity to give talks to students about CHAT and share what I know about youth mental health with young people. One of my most memorable moments as a CHAT Ambassador was serving as a panellist at the end of inVISIBLE alongside CHAT staff. It was incredibly humbling to have been a small part of a project which had attracted so many people who were interested to learn more about youth mental health concerns.
In one word, describe your journey with Ambassadors thus far.
Any advice you want to give to an aspiring Ambassador?
Hesitate no more! We are always in need of people like you who are passionate about youth mental health advocacy. If you are wondering whether you are going to be ‘good enough’, rest assured that you don’t need to have a PhD in Psychology before you can be a mental health advocate! All it takes is a sincere willingness to learn and try new things, and, of course, passion for the cause! We can’t wait to receive your application!!