Since her mother died last year, 74-year-old Lim Yeo Hong has been living alone in a flat on the outskirts of Singapore, scavenging for cardboard scraps which she sells for a living. The only time she meets anyone is once a month when she collects food from a charity. “There’s nothing else I can do at home, I watch TV,” the frail woman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, taking a break from pushing her cart full of cardboard around an industrial estate on the 5.6 million-strong island nation. Asked if she felt lonely, she said, “Yes of course I do, but what choice do I have?” In a rapidly ageing and urbanising world, Lim is among a growing number of elderly people who are grappling with loneliness, which research has linked to poor mental health, including dementia and early mortality. As people live longer, the World Health Organization predicts that one in five – 2 billion people – will be aged 60 or older by 2050, double that of 2015. … [Read more...] about Ageing Singapore uses gardening to fight loneliness
Singapore mental health
Schoolchildren are paying a heavy price for Singapore's success in global education rankings, with rising numbers seeking psychiatric help as they struggle to cope with the relentless pressure for academic excellence. Children are reporting symptoms of anxiety and stress related to school as early as primary school, experts warn, and there have been extreme cases where pupils have been driven to suicide. Youths often face long days at school, hours of homework, and are then pushed by parents to have private tuition, which is having an impact on mental wellbeing -- a recent report found that overall the city's pupils reported higher levels of anxiety than average. Now, in a bid to reduce stress in its schools, Singapore is embarking upon reforms that will scrap some academic tests, and change the rigid streaming process. "We have to balance the joy of learning and the rigour of education," Ong Ye, education minister said, as he announced some of the changes in parliament earlier this … [Read more...] about Performance anxiety: Singapore schoolkids struggle with stress
A former infantry soldier is one of the first in the UK to take advantage of an offer of free membership for veterans with PTSD at a Banbury gym. Duncan Bannatyne gave his backing to the Sunday People’s Save Our Soldiers campaign and offered hundreds of free memberships for veterans with post traumatic stress disorder, with every one of his 72 health clubs taking part. Jay Sullivan applied to the Bannatyne Health Club and Spa on Oxford Road and was delighted to be offered the opportunity to become a member for free.The 51-year-old had been determined to join the Army from the age of 11 - initially he joined the Royal Corp of Transport but failing his driving test five times led to him joining the infantry.He served in Northern Ireland but left the army in 1988 after events that are still too painful for him to talk and in 2014 he received his first PTSD diagnosis.Jay said: “I have received support from a number of organisations including Veterans UK, Aspire, The Veterans … [Read more...] about Veteran with PTSD given free membership at Banbury gym
FT Health is now stopping over the summer. To keep reading our journalism on health policy and life sciences, please sign up to myFT topics on health, visit www.ft.com/health, email us via [email protected] and on Twitter follow @FTHealth, @AJack and @darrendoddIf in doubt, reclassify. That is the latest proposal to boost lagging efforts to tackle the global burden of smoking, a legal but lethal practice for over a fifth of the world’s population aged over 15 which kills 8m people a year.Writing in the BMJ, two professors at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences argue that the current focus on nicotine dependence — which makes quitting so difficult — means that tobacco use is often categorised as a mental health condition. Instead, they suggest it should be considered as a leading non-communicable disease on a par with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, to encourage greater prominence and research, the development of disease management … [Read more...] about FT Health: Time to reclassify tobacco?
The 2019 Bristol Diversity Awards have been named at a glamorous event in the city centre. It is the third year the awards ceremony has been held, organised by BCfm Radio boss Pat Hart. There were more nominations, awards and winners than ever before, with the awards seeking to recognise and celebrate people and organisations that embrace all areas of diversity and equality. The event took place at the Marriott Hotel in Redcliffe on Saturday evening, and here is a full list of all those who won, with the individual citations for each award. "The Bristol Diversity Awards represent everything we do as a radio station and help to encourage businesses, individuals, community organisations and statutory groups to embrace all areas of diversity and equality with the opportunity to get recognised for it in a high profile way," said Mr Hart. "The awards were launched in 2017 to public acclaim, striving to recognise individuals, businesses and organisations that have made outstanding … [Read more...] about The 32 winners of the Bristol Diversity Awards 2019