The Salvation Army’s Inaugural Race for Good to help vulnerable communities and meet expanding mental health needs
- The race aims to raise funds to meet needs for the vulnerable and further tackle the growing mental health concerns
- It takes Salvation Army in partnership with the community and volunteers to provide mental health support, especially for the vulnerable children and migrant workers
- Salvation Army to further develop professionally-run therapies through psychological counselling services and community support
Singapore, 27th Oct 2023 – In an effort to meet the expanding mental health needs of the vulnerable, and to commemorate 88 years of serving the community, The Salvation Army (TSA) is working to expand and bolster existing and new initiatives through the inaugural charity race. This Race For Good is TSA’s inaugural charity race and will be held on 28th October at Gardens by the Bay. It will be attended by guest of honour, Ms Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Manpower who will lead the charge. The Race for Good symbolises a call to empathy and love beyond and aims to rally the community and bring hope to the vulnerable and desolate. Over 1200 participants including corporate partners, beneficiaries, and well wishes will be at the race.
Amongst the vulnerable that are helped, there are the youths experiencing trauma. Research show that children with adverse childhood experiences have higher risk of mental health issues, physical health issues as well as challenges with their academic achievements. According to latest local reports, the number of cases investigated by local authorities for serious child abuse or neglect concerns “remained high” in 2022, after doubling from slightly more than 1,000 cases in 2019 to about 2,000 cases in 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The figure for 2022 is comparable with that in 2021*. At the Salvation Army’s children’s homes, professional interventions by our Centre for Psychological and Counselling Services have been shown to significantly decrease in trauma, anxiety and depression symptoms. The sentiments are echoed by TSA’s Executive Director, Children and Youth Group, Ms Audrie Siew, stating “Children and youth with a history of trauma do need more support. If unresolved, research has shown that these experiences are linked to worse mental health and other outcomes, not only in the short term but even into adulthood. This can have intergenerational and societal impact. We hope to reach out to more who need such help.”
Additionally, migrant workers often lack suitable channels to seek assistance for mental health needs. As such, TSA’s ‘hotlines on legs’ will be rolled out in person on the ground at dormitories with the staff offering a listening ear and provide crisis care for foreign workers in need. TSA staff and volunteers will assist and advocate for workers suffering from physical injuries or personal struggles when they are away from their home country and isolated. Plans are underway to reach 33 foreign worker dormitories, each with 3,000-5,000 workers, by the end of the financial year.
The Salvation Army’s Community and Social Service director, Mr Marcus Moo, highlights that “The migrant population in Singapore makes up a significant portion of our local labour force; some have met with hurdles and challenges that we can better address through community efforts and our inaugural race.”
About The Salvation Army Race for Good
This inaugural race is part of The Salvation Army’s 88 anniversary celebration https://salvationarmylovebeyond88.sg/ aims to raise awareness and funds for the vulnerable in Singapore. This would be for different arms of our services:
Elder care: Peacehaven is an international award-winning programme provider. Its Jade Circle model of care as exemplified by its impact on community, innovations and approach to residential care serves as an example to the rest of the world.
Child Youth Group: CYG provides a continuum of services for vulnerable children, spanning preventive services, statutory care through fostering or residential services and reunification support. Most of CYG’s children and youth have a history of abuse and neglect or have risk factors such as having an incarcerated parent. CYG believes that ever child mattes and children grow best in families. We believe that to help a child, we have to also support their family. We also believe in the potential of children and families to heal and transform.
Migrant workers ministry: The Sojourn Programme is a sustainable movement maker that rallies schools, churches, corporates, employers, dorm management operators to improve the well-being of migrant workers in Singapore. This approach takes the view that the betterment of the plight of migrant workers is over and beyond the physical but also the socio-emotional dimensions. The Salvation Army also operates the Carehaven residential service programme for migrant domestic workers who are caught in distress and is an example of how respect and care can be accorded to women who are caught in difficult circumstances to provide for their dependents back in their respective country of origin.
Prison Support Services: The Salvation Army is committed to helping released offenders reintegrate back to their families and societies. The movement has been cited before by prison authorities and also in Parliament for contributing to the reduction in recidivism rate in Singapore – which is probably one of the lowest among countries in the region. Aftercare Support Program (ASP), one-year post release, volunteer-run support program of befriending and mentoring services. It connects released inmates to community resources to increase their capacity and chance for change during their re-integration journey. The program entails three-phase support components; i) pre-release preparation, ii) release pick-up and iii) post-release support, to ensure that released inmates’ re-integration needs are met in five essential areas; a) practical needs, b) employment, c) accommodation, d) relationship and e) spirituality.
TSA is proud to partner with notable clients such as Platinum Sponsor Omron Asia Pacific, and Gold sponsors FairPrice Foundation, PSA, Tower Capital Asia, ING Asia Pacific, who recognise the growing need to take decisive action in addressing the needs of the vulnerable population in Singapore.
For more information on the race visit https://www.salvationarmy.org.sg/rfg2023/
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