THE LIGHT OF HOPE RUN
The Light of Hope Run is a running event aimed at raising awareness of depression. The objective of this race is to rally the community to show support and create a more accepting society so that individuals with depression and other mental health issues will be encouraged to seek help early and find hope once more. For the third year running, The Light of Hope Run also aims to breakdown social stigma associated with depression and mental health, by engaging communities to come on board and offer support and opportunities to individuals with depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide* and research has proven that love, acceptance and support from family, friends and the community plays a crucial role in the process of recovery from depression. Show your support by taking part in a 3.5km Buddy Fun Run or 7km Competitive Run. Let us unite and cross the finishing line together to show individuals with/recovering from depression that they are never alone. Let us be a Light of Hope. *World Health Organisation, Fact Sheet, October 2015.
THE LIGHT OF HOPE RUN AMBASSADOR
Eelyn Kok is a local artiste. She is happily married to her husband of seven years and is a doting mother to their young son, Zane.
When Eelyn was 23 years old, she would put up a strong front around others even though deep inside she was overwhelmed with a whole lot of emotions including sadness. She would wake up in the morning, lie in bed and just stare at the ceiling for the rest of the day. Sometimes, she felt that she could not even handle meeting people, and would reject invitations, preferring to sleep the day away locked in her room instead.
This lasted for six months.
As Eelyn shares: "One day, a voice inside me told me to get up and get out of the house,"
"I understand how difficult it is to step out of it. But if you keep to yourself, you'll be lingering at the edge of an abyss.”
"Don't keep on this spiralling path that leads nowhere. Talk to a friend, get some adrenaline pumping with exercise or seek professional help."
Keeping those months of depressive experience close at heart, Eelyn is now back on her feet eager to help others recovering from depression and to raise awareness of depression as an Ambassador for The Light of Hope Run. She is a bright example of how one can take the step forward to recovering from depression.
THE LIGHT OF HOPE RUN COMMITTEE
Despite being a full-time working mother to an active 4 year-old boy, Kate is full of energy and drive in pursuing and supporting the causes she believes in. In late 2014, after one of Kate's relatives lost the battle against depression and took his own life, Kate was inspired to start The Light of Hope Run to raise awareness on depression and other mental health issues, and to offer support and hope to those struggling with mental health conditions. Kate strongly believes that it is only through greater awareness and understanding on these issues, that myths and social stigma associated with them can be broken down and proper help / treatment can be sought. And it is only when misconceptions about depression and mental health are broken down, that we can see greater empathy, support and acceptance for people with mental health issues by the society. “There's worth and purpose in every person. We are all designed to be a Light of Hope in this world."
Linnette is one who pursues her dreams with child-like faith and persevering hope. She is a people-lover, especially the youths and children. Raised in a single-parent family, Linnette was taken care of by her maternal grandmother in her growing up years and was very close to her. So when her grandmother passed away during her teens, Linnette's world came to a standstill. She couldn't cope with the sudden loss and suffered from depression and anxiety disorder. Thankfully, with strong and loving support from her family, as well as timely and proper professional treatment, she was able to recover completely and in a short span of time. Linnette is now a stronger person than she was before and she wants to see similar breakthroughs and victories in the lives of others. This is why she was inspired to organise The Light of Hope Run. She firmly believes that timely professional help, love and support from her family and friends were keys to her recovery. And she hopes to rally people to come together to show support for those going through depression, and restore hope and meaning in their lives. "It's time to stand up and step out to be a Light of Hope!"
Joel graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2016 with a degree in Social Work. He is bursting with zeal, passion and energy to effect social changes to help the marginalised and disadvantaged. Joel lost his beloved father to cancer when he was just 16 years. Suddenly, he became the man of the family and had to undertake responsibilities and burden beyond his years. Yet, in the seemingly bleak and helpless situation, he held on to the hope that things will get better. His family and friends came alongside with encouraging words as well. This glimmer of hope, as small as it was, was the very thing that helped him pull himself together and move on in life. Joel hopes that through his personal struggles, experiences and victories, he can help encourage others going through unexpected and unfortunate circumstances in their lives to carry on. This is why he studied social work and is organising The Light of Hope Run to advocate for mental wellness. He firmly believes that with greater awareness on depression and mental health, it is possible to combat social stigma and restore hope to those who need it. "Be the change, be a Light of Hope."
About TOUCH Community Services
TOUCH Community Services is a not-for-profit charitable organisation officially registered in 1992 and has been a member of the National Council of Social Service since 1994. Started in 1986 as a service for latchkey children in the neighbourhoods of Clementi and Jurong with low-income and single-parent families, a group of seven volunteers in their 20s organised activities to help the children in these situations by offering a positive environment. Since then, it has matured to a multi-service organisation with an integrated network of 17 services, 19 centres and 24 children's clubs located at different parts of Singapore, including Bukit Merah, Clementi, Geylang Bahru, Hougang, Serangoon, Toa Payoh, Ubi and Yishun. Over the last 25 years, TOUCH has reached out to many individuals from all religions and races, including children, youths, families, people with special and healthcare needs and the elderly. To promote greater awareness and exposure to overseas community work, we also partner closely with organisations in various countries in the areas of adoption of children, community development and humanitarian relief. For more information on TOUCH Community Services, kindly visit www.touch.org.sg.