Working in the aircraft engineering industry, the late Mr Yeong Yow Wong travelled frequently in his 40-year career. Travelling opened his eyes and heart to the world, and the experiences he gleaned from the many places he visited shaped his positive attitude and firm belief in taking care of his physical and emotional health.
In January 2023, Mr Yeong was admitted to Changi General Hospital (CGH) due to his deteriorating health. Despite the gravity of his illness, he remained optimistic and good-spirited because of his positive mindset and support of his care team.
Though he would have preferred to be discharged, he was resilient, even telling his family that he would remain in hospital for as long as needed and not to worry about him.
In the days before his passing, he made known to this family his desire to give back to one of CGH’s philanthropic causes.
“My father was a man who always thought about other people, even till his passing. Whenever his friends or neighbours felt down and needed a listening ear, he would always be there. He would invite them to accompany him on his afternoon walks and be that someone they could talk to,” recounted Mr Yeong’s son, Hansen Yeong. It was not a surprise to Hansen and his family of Mr Yeong’s decision to make this legacy gift.
Mr Yeong passed away on 31 January, at the age of 77. But his legacy to help others continues. In honour of Mr Yeong, his family graciously donated $200,000 towards the ‘Youth Outreach Programme’ (YoOP!).
Started in 2022, YoOP! Is an initiative that promotes the awareness of mental health issues among the youth through schools and helps those afflicted with a holistic recovery involving the return to education and social circles. It is designed to further support students, educators and counsellors in schools to improve mental health literacy, dispel myths on mental illness and equip them with skillsets to identify and support their peers who are at risk.
Over the last two years, CGH has seen an approximately two-fold increase in community referrals to their adolescent mental health service. To combat this, CGH has created a wellness ecosystem to help the young with their mental wellness. Multi-disciplinary teams comprising psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and medical social workers work with youths with mental health issues to understand their symptoms, diagnose their condition and provide personalised treatment plans.
“My father had a lifelong belief in the importance of mental and emotional well-being of a person,” shared Hansen. “We hope that this gift can help further CGH’s work in this segment of society, and that youths can lead a life that is fulfilling, with physical and mentally wellness.”
Dr Cheryl Loh, Senior Consultant, Department of Psychological Medicine, CGH, who is part of the team behind YoOP, expressed her gratitude to for this gift. “I’m honoured to be able to meet the Yeong family personally and have the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of young people struggling with mental health issues. With their support, we will be able to provide even more resources to those in need with the hope that every young person will have the access to the care and support they need to thrive.”
To find out how you can support YoOP!, or programmes similar to this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9819 7312.