Quality of mind is the wellspring of all successful enterprises and developing its potential holds the key to successful social and economic development of a country. In Singapore, developing mental resilience in the young and old is all the more crucial for maximizing our limited human resource.
Mind Science Centre (MSC) aims to be a knowledge centre of excellence for psychological research, education and service with a non-drug approach. It will be unique in its distinctive Asian focus and combines the best tradition of Western scientific empiricism with Eastern philosophical thoughts. MSC’s research is tailored to the local context with community-based translational programmes that will be scaled nationally.
Research: Undertake research on mental resilience interventions across the age continuum using a non-drug, evidence-based approach
Education: Capacity-building through the training of healthcare professionals, educators, caregivers and volunteer trainers to promote communities with an Undefeated Mind
Services: Translational research for the benefit of the community, which will create a network of shared knowledge and research
Policy-shaping: Influence government decision-making pertaining to mental health policies of the nation
MSC aims to be the think-tank and recognized leader in the field of translational mental wellness research. Through the 10-year longitudinal Jurong Ageing Study (JAS), MSC has built a cohort of 1,000 elderly and investigated the efficacy of interventions such as mindful awareness practice, art therapy, music reminiscence, horticulture therapy, choral singing etc. in delaying the onset of dementia and depression. The studies have won MSC a Ministry of National Development Research Fund (MNDRF) Grant and the prestigious National Medical Research Council (NMRC) Grant.
Choral Singing in the Community
Replicating the successful flagship research, MSC is currently building a new elderly cohort of 1,000 through the Hannah Intergenerational Study, to investigate ageing in place through understanding mental resilience and vulnerability factors of the ageing process in the biological, psychological and social domains. For children and adolescents, MSC is initiating the Singapore Youth Epidemiology and Resilience (YEaR) Study to track the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, resilience and stress among a school-based population of 4,000 youths.
MSC aims to be the go-to expert and best practitioner in evidence-based solution and diagnostics, thereby building mental resilience and improving quality of life. Through the abridged Age Well Everyday (AWE) Programme currently active at seven community sites, MSC translated the JAS research into a holistic community programme to delay and/or prevent depression, anxiety and dementia through health education, exercise, mindful awareness practice and music reminiscence.
Age Well Everyday (AWE) Inaugural Session at Tampines Changkat
To date, the AWE programme has produced over 80 volunteer instructors and benefitted over 350 elderly, with plans to scale island wide through the development of the AWE E-portal. The portal is an interactive e-learning platform with the goal to empower individuals, caregivers and communities with the knowledge of self-care and caring for others.
A/Prof John Wong Chee Meng
A/Prof John Wong has a wide repertoire of clinical skills and experiences in psychiatry, medical teaching and research. Apart from serving as the MSC’s Centre Director, he is also the current Head for the Department of Psychological Medicine, Programme Director for REACH (West), a programme under the National Mental Health Blueprint, serving the mental health needs of adolescents of school-going age and President for the College of Psychiatrists Council. This enables A/Prof Wong to synergize the various initiatives under his care in the building of mental resilience among the Singapore population.
As a child psychiatrist and dedicated educator, A/Prof Wong is especially passionate and involved in MSC’s child/adolescent research and cross-disciplinary initiatives for the benefit of tertiary students. Under the MSC, he has kick-started the inaugural regional meet and Hikikomori - Hidden Youth Syndrome Symposium, addressing this rising phenomenon in Asia, pilot-tested new youth diagnostics and supplements, as well as initiated the Mind-Series collaborations inculcating the importance of mental wellness across faculties.
Learn more about MSC @ http://nmsc.nus.edu.sg