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SGSecure: Boosting Mental Resilience Within Our Communities
Mr Karam Singh and Ms Salina Samion aren’t just psychologists with the Home Team, they are also part of a dedicated team that is helping to build the psychological resilience of Singaporeans.

As lead trainers of the Human Emergency Assistance and Response Team (HEART), Mr Karam Singh and Ms Salina Samion train community responders in Psychological First Aid (PFA). This crucial work takes place on weekends, with each lesson lasting four-and-a-half hours.

PFA Made Simple: “Look, Listen, Link”

In order to engage community responders, these lessons must be delivered in a way that can be easily understood said Mr Karam Singh, Deputy Director of the Psychological and Correctional Rehabilitation Division at the Singapore Prison Service.

Home Team News
Mr Karam Singh has served as a psychologist with the Home Team since 1999. PHOTO: Olivier Lee

“When you work with the community, you meet people with different backgrounds,” said the 50-year-old. “So you need to be flexible in terms of delivery and make sure that the training is useful for them; that it’s something they can bring home and apply.”

That’s why HEART’s “Look, Listen, Link” advisory is designed to help PFA-trained responders recall three steps to help someone in need – to observe, emphasise and then refer an affected individual to the right source of help.

Street Smarts Are Important

HEART members and PFA-trained responders can refer affected individuals to “formal” links, which may include schools, social service agencies or medical facilities. However, according Ms Salina Samion, Principal Psychologist at the Central Narcotics Bureau, referring individuals to “informal” links may be a better option for community responders.

“Community responders are at the heart of the community – they know where the clinics are, where to get the cheapest products and where to find traditional healers in the neighbourhood,” the 49-year-old said. “We should capitalise on their local knowledge to better provide assistance to affected individuals.”

Home Team News
Ms Salina Samion has been a psychologist for the Home Team for 12 years. PHOTO: Olivier Lee

The HEART team is made up of psychologists and counsellors from the Home Team, the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Institute of Mental Health. Since HEART was launched in March 2017, it has given PFA lessons to over 1,000 community responders, with a full round of training for all 89 constituencies set to be completed by January 2018.

Appreciating HEART

On 14 November 2017, an appreciation lunch and award ceremony for HEART members was held to recognise their contributions to the SGSecure movement.

Home Team News
The appreciation lunch and award ceremony allowed HEART members from the various agencies to share their experiences. PHOTO: Olivier Lee

In her opening address, Ms Josephine Teo, Second Minister for Home Affairs, thanked HEART members for boosting the community’s psychological resilience, and urged them to continue their efforts.

“Your contributions in strengthening psychological resilience is a vital part of this national movement,” she said. “Our fight against terrorism will be a long one, but it is a fight we cannot afford to let up in.”

Learn more about HEART:

SGSecure: Adding HEART to Emergency Preparedness

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Muhamad Khair
  2. 24 November 2017
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