In this week’s interview, we speak to Jen, a CHAT Ambassador, and also a working adult! During the recruitment process, we were excited to see more working adults applying, as the bulk of the applicants (and ambassadors) were students. Find out more on her experience below!
Jen (bottom right) at a recent CHAT event!
How did you find out about CHAT Ambassadors?
I had come back from my studies in the US, and was hoping to be more active in the mental health scene. I thought that as a non-practitioner (I am a civil servant by profession), I could be an advocate, and I could value-add in the youth space. I did some research and learnt about Audible Hearts and CHAT, so when the next opportunity arose to apply to be a CHAT ambassador, I decided to try it out.
Throughout many recruitment cycles, we see the bulk of it being school students. Even though you are a working adult, what made you want to apply?
Aside from the above – I was keen to learn more about the mental health awareness among youth (and I thought a good start point was to see the composition of CHAT and the activities CHAT is involved in). I also didn’t know that the bulk of it was school students… :O
How has the experience with Ambassadors been so far?
Most students may find the project conceptualization and implementation portion new – I found it very similar to my day-to-day work, and unfortunately as a working adult I am not free in the weekdays to implement these projects! For me, I really enjoyed the events I got to partake in on behalf of CHAT – forums, a talkshow, networking sessions – it allowed me to interact with other mental health professionals, or look at the topic from multiple angles. It is a great way to get a feel for the scene as a non-professional, and I am grateful for the opportunities that CHAT has accorded.
Was there any occasion that had been memorable for you?
All the events I attended were enjoyable and memorable for me, in different ways.
In one word, describe your experience with Ambassadors.
Cause-driven – I like how it is not necessarily fancy or glamorous, but the organizers (IMH’s crew) and ambassadors take out their time and effort to organize activities in the mental health space. IMH also involves the ambassadors in their events as much as they can – which I like. I think it’s great exposure for the school students and it signals that you do not need lots of money to carry out successful events or to push for a cause that you believe in.
Lastly, is there any advice you would like to give to aspiring Ambassadors who are also a working adult?
Come in with an open mind, to learn from what these other young student ambassadors can offer, to teach them what you can from your own experience (though this may mean being a party pooper and giving a dose of realism)…and be heartened by their enthusiasm and drive for the mental health awareness cause. 🙂