An event where every caregiver is a VIP – this was the essence of Caregivers Connect 2019, a full day event held on 7 September 2019 which focused on caregivers and their needs. The event was a resounding success as it managed to meet its aim of having participants informed of resources and support services, inspired by the powerful stories of caregivers, and initiated as volunteers or advocates for meaningful causes. A caregiver commented that the “audience packed the morning sessions and the breakout sessions in the afternoon”. There were 238 attendees in total, comprising mainly caregivers, but including partners, mental health professionals and guests. INFORMED Caregivers were informed throughout the day with useful news and tips on caregiving. In opening the morning plenary session, CAL Executive Director Tim Lee shared about CAL’s focus and direction, and the many exciting programmes lined up for caregivers in the coming months. This was followed by the plenary speech by Professor Lee Cheng from IMH, which provided tips on caregiving and highlights on where to seek help and resources. Many in the audience found his speech beneficial, as indicated by requests from nearly 40 attendees for his presentation slides after the segment. Besides talks, caregivers were also informed through interactive learning activities such as the Mental Health & Caregiving Quiz, which revealed interesting facts about mental health. INSPIRED There were numerous caregivers’ experiences that moved and inspired attendees throughout the day. Natalie Tan, the second plenary speaker, gave a heartfelt account of how mental health affected her family. She courageously shared about how she dealt with the loss from her mother’s suicide, through heart-warming gestures such as using her mother’s recipes to cook for the family. In the afternoon, with 3 rounds of breakouts sessions and a total of 14 different breakouts to choose from, many caregivers were able to interact with be inspired by each other, regardless of age and background. One said, “At break time I met a young person whose condition has stabilised. This person is well groomed, positive, engaging and is engaged in meaningful work. It gave me hope and encouraged me not to give up.” INITIATED This year’s Caregivers Connect has been an event to remember. With many more caregivers who have not had the chance to attend, we envision next year’s Caregiver Connect 2020 to be even more useful and engaging. We invite you to be initiated into helping caregivers by joining us as part of the Planning Committee for Caregivers Connect 2020. We are looking for dedicated volunteers, who will need to commit to attending monthly meetings and be willing to run all aspects of the event as organisers. Do visit our page on Caregivers Connect 2020 to find out more.
CAREGIVERS CONNECT 2019 VIDEO
CAREGIVERS CONNECT 2019 PHOTOS
CAREGIVERS CONNECT 2019 - Slides by Plenary Speaker, Prof Lee Cheng