Genevieve Ng tells us why mental health can use a CPA's touch

Beautiful minds

Genevieve Ng CPA has a goal – to expand the horizons and opportunities for young people with mental health issues at Singapore’s Institute of Mental Health.

Genevieve Ng CPA isn’t shy about wanting to change people’s minds. She heads finance and development at GCoreLab in Singapore, which is researching cooling solutions for the storage batteries that will be crucial to future clean energy networks. She also volunteers to help people with mental health problems, which for a long time held a stigma in Singapore.

The 46-year-old began volunteering at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in Singapore nine years ago, first in the adult wing and, from 2008, in the child and adolescent ward, the Sunrise Wing.

“We were invited to visit the adult psychiatric wards at IMH,” she recalls. “I was moved by what I saw and decided to enrol as a volunteer – nothing glamorous, simply good old-fashioned interaction and conversations with these adult patients to feel the world they have since lost touch with.”

She also completed the first crisis management course conducted by psychiatrists and psychologists at IMH. “I have always been fascinated by how the brain controls human functioning and decision-making behaviour during a crisis,” she explains. 

“We hope to help these patients secure paying jobs that match their unique abilities.”

As a volunteer on the Sunrise Wing, Ng engages youngsters with activities ranging from art and craft sessions to puzzle games. She helps further by sourcing sponsorships for the children for special events and treats. 

“Going forward, we would like to explore affordable tuition and related rehabilitation therapy or enrichment coaching clinics for the patients, and lessen the financial burden of their caregivers. We hope to help these patients secure paying jobs that match their unique abilities, to be financially independent and lead a meaningful life.” 

Born in Singapore, Ng studied business administration at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia. She is a small shareholder in GCoreLab, which also has offices in China and California, and explains that since 2012 her role there has transitioned from being an employee to more an angel investor, who invests either funds or expertise in start-ups.

“This allows me to contribute meaningful first-mover initiatives to create next generation sustainable and affordable solutions to meet the changing needs of the world,” she says.
Her work schedule allows her the flexibility to explore medical device research and development commercialisation with the National University Hospital and its research partners.

Ng was brought up with the idea that you should always help your neighbour, and she aims to be “a value-adding global citizen”.

She sees promoting emotional wellness and resilience in the community and workplace as just as important to society as technical advances. 

“The sheer stigma of mental health issues in Singapore has largely deterred those who need medical intervention from getting medical attention,” she says. This is changing, thanks to awareness campaigns, and Ng wants to help push that change, both generally and in individual people’s lives.

“I am a firm believer in the power of education from early childhood, as well as early medical intervention as a game changer, to better each child’s future in this exciting world.” 

Genevieve Ng CPA has a simple goal – to make the world a better place. She’s doing exactly that, using her spare time to volunteer at Singapore’s Institute of Mental Health. 

Institute of Mental Health

Singapore’s Institute of Mental Health was established in 1928 and today has 2010 beds across 50 wards, as well as seven outpatient clinics. Its Sunrise Wing is the only psychiatric ward for children in Singapore and was specially designed to suit the needs of children and adolescents who require more intensive treatment. The 20-bed ward includes an outdoor sports annex, a computer room and an art room.

Other facilities include the Sunshine Wing, a 50-bed acute ward for psychiatric patients aged 65 and older. It has dementia-friendly facilities including a reminiscence room, where special objects are used to evoke memories as part of the therapy. The Sayang Wellness Centre is a more homelike 18-bed centre, while the Mood Disorder Unit provides treatment for people with complex or severe mood disorders.

This article is from the September issue of INTHEBLACK

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September 2015
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