A group of students from Nanyang Polytechnic School of Social Sciences (Social Work) organized a day of fun and games for a group of clients from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). The event line-up, a string of creative team-bonding games painstakingly organized by the team from NYP brought to the clients plenty of fun, joy, and laughter.

    Here, we caught up with the team of five- Shee En Yin, Charmaine Ong, Aaron Scott Donovan, Leow Su Ling and Ho Hor Kuan- to find out more about the project, as well as their thoughts on their experience working with clients from IMH!

    What was the reason for embarking on this particular project? And why was the name OHANA chosen for the project?

    As part one of our modules, we had to plan a program for some clients. We were given a choice to state our preferred choice between a few social services. We agreed together as a group that we wanted to do something different and working with IMH patients was something which stood out to us.

    The cartoon, Lilo and Stitch, is based on the theme OHANA which means "Family means no one gets left behind". We thought it would be appropriate to have this theme for the event as some people in society carry a stigma towards this group of people, and we hope to minimize such stigmatization and hopefully help the clients to see society as one big family instead.

    What were your thoughts before the project started?

    Although we were looking forward to working together with them, we didn't know what to expect as working with IMH clients was something new to all of us. One of our main concerns was whether they would have a relapse on the day of the event and if they would be responsive to the program.

    Can you share with us some highlights from the OHANA project?

    Piecing the jigsaw puzzles together with the clients and seeing that most of them were enjoying themselves during the event day itself.

    What have you learnt about yourselves (individually and as a team) through this experience?  And is there anything you learnt from our EPIP patients through your experience?

    We've learnt to balance between having fun and doing work. We also learnt to cover and help one another in our respective roles as some of us were new to planning an event. One thing that the EPIP patients taught us was what it means to keep pursuing our dreams despite setbacks we may face along the way.