Human Library Stories of
People from the
Jointly organized by:
Music Fest of Hope
“We wanted to create a platform where our rising talents could be empowered to share their stories of struggle and strength. It is heartening to see the performers bravely share their mental health recovery journey, and such a positive reaction from the public. Special thanks goes out to our volunteer team who ensured the success of the event.”
~ Fari Wu / EverythingHertzSG
“I could sense the strong communal spirit of the participants and it was very uplifting. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to share as I’ve always wanted to help but didn’t really know how to go about it as I’m not a professional in mental-health related industries.”
Betty Kang, fan voi dancer
“It’s to my great happiness to see so many talented peers among us. I really appreciate
the chance I to perform… I was nervous but made it through in the end. Through sharing my
experience with others, it allows me to have self recognition.”
Uen Fang, singer
Thanks to our special guest stars:
- Nigel Ng from Doorsing Selective Mutism
- Lu Tian Wei from Beautiful Mind Charity
- Aaron Aloysious Music
- Bellydance Haven
- Aliyah Yuting
- Betty Kang
Want to be a part of our next event or learn more about us? Contact us below.
Recovery Story: Gina’s recovery advice
Interview by Fari Wu
Fresh graduate Gina was 16 years old when she developed social anxiety, due to bad social experiences with friends. Five years later, she developed depression.
She was the victim of bullying in school, even when she was in Kindergarten. “I was the fattest kid back then. And some friends followed me from Kindergarten to Primary School, which made it harder.”
How her Social Anxiety developed
“It was in secondary school when I realized I had symptoms like not being able to look people in the eye. My hands would shake a lot. I became conscious with how I present myself.”
“I was put on Prozac. It worked for a while, but then the symptoms came back. I changed medications a few times but the same thing kept happening.” (Gina no longer takes medication as she personally feels it is not effective for her).
Gina’s Recovery Advice
“In Polytechnic, I managed to make new friends. Then I removed all toxic people in my life. I believe my environment was really important. Sometimes you keep giving and giving (to people), until you feel so run down. And people just take what you give them.”
“I do still struggle with that. It’s part and parcel of life I guess. But you have to learn to protect and value yourself. Otherwise people might take you for granted.”
“And if you’re unhappy with yourself, implement routines to change your lifestyle. Like eat better, exercise, make time to do what you want.”
On Her Friends
“In Secondary School, I had a friend who helped me through difficult times. I have issues with trusting people, so I’m grateful she and I are still close friends now.”
On Her Family
“They thought I was being too sensitive. They told me to just focus on my studies. But I wasn’t even emotionally stable, how do I focus?”
On Her Aspirations
“I want to get a job and be financially stable. And I hope one day I can fully accept (the bullying and difficulties) that I went through. There are times when I think about it and still feel unhappy. But I hope one day I can stop being hung up about it.”
Her Message to Caregivers
“I think you should remember to take care of your own needs too. Sometimes when caregivers are tired or rundown, you quarrel with us or have misunderstandings with the person you care for. And it just becomes bad for both sides. And please be patient with the people you’re working with.”
Want to contribute your story? Get in touch with us via the Contact Form.
Recovery Story: Coping with depression and anxiety
Written by Jon Ho
We all know the saying – an idle mind is the devil’s playground.
This saying holds no truer than for those experiencing depression, anxiety or both.
More often than not, one leads to the other and we are then left at a loss, not knowing, nay, not feeling the urge to do anything other than wanting to hide.
Hiding. Running away. Wanting to curl up in bed and hide from the world. Actions that further compounds the problem.
We should ask ourselves, why should that be at the top of our minds? Rather, we should all the more channel that into something productive, something that helps the process of healing.
There are many different possibilities out there and these can be tailored to suit you and your situation.
“Taking a walk, taking in the sights and the sounds, has helped me when I’m feeling depressed. It reminds me of what it is to be human – to take in all around us, to appreciate the beauty in the myriad of forms that exist.”
Walking also stimulates the heart, becoming a sort of exercise and it’s proven that physical activity does help one’s state of mind.
During those intermittent periods of calm and tranquility, I find that channeling my energy into learning new things such as a language, or an art form helps build mental resilience.
It lets me understand the beauty and diversity of life.
What about when we are experiencing an anxiety attack?
The main thing would be to find a quiet place to calm down.
Sometimes, an anxiety attack happens when we are outside instead of at home.
Personally, when that happens to me, I find that sitting in a washroom, thinking calm thoughts insomuch as possible, and doing breathing exercises has helped me to cope.
The suggestions may not work for everyone. We have to remember that everybody is intrinsically different.
We each have to find an outlet that works for us and focus on that, to strengthen our mind against idleness and stress.
Take it as a step in understanding yourself and that these ‘distractions’ aren’t really just distractions.
They’re instead a reminder that there we are more than the sum of our mental frustrations.
We are fighters.