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[Fireside Chat] Schizophrenia 101: Breaking the Myths and Misconceptions

This is part of CAL’s “Uncovering & Empowering Hidden Heroes” campaign that seeks to equip all mental health caregivers with the resources and support they need. To learn more, visit

According to the 2016 Singapore Mental Health Study by the Institute of Mental Health, one in 43 of those aged 18 and up in Singapore has had a psychotic disorder in their lifetime. With schizophrenia being the most common psychotic disorder, how much do we actually know about it? Is it really a ‘split personality’ disorder? And what do we do if someone we know starts experiencing symptoms?

Join psychiatrist Dr Ang Yong Guan as he explains about the illness, the onset and symptoms, the misconceptions around it, as well as available treatments. Caregiver Cityruth Cocoanna Christian and person-in-recovery Michelle Lai join him to share their own deeply personal experiences in what promises to be a highly engaging panel discussion.

This event is part of CAL’s continuous efforts to help caregivers and caregivers-to-be achieve higher levels of well-being and resilience, supplementing what is taught at our Caregivers-to-Caregivers Programme.

About Our Panellists and Moderator

Dr Ang Yong Guan

Dr Ang Yong Guan has been a practicing psychiatrist for more than 30 years. He helps others to know more about themselves, to remove their blind spots, to see the light at the end of the tunnels, to handle their emotional problems, and to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Cityruth Cocoanna Christian

Coco knew about her husband‘s schizophrenia condition since they started dating, but it didn’t change how she felt about him. Through her life, and despite her own health struggles, she has cheerfully cared for many others including her father-in-law with dementia. She wants to give her best for her loved ones because they are her strength. In her own words, she’s more than just a wife and daughter-in-law. She is a caregiver.

Michelle Lai

Michelle Lai is a certified peer support specialist. She has been diagnosed with depression for 14 years and schizoaffective condition for 13 years - where ‘schizo’ means she hears voices when she is sick, and ‘affective’ means that she has depression. Together, the condition means that she is likely to hear voices and fall sick when her mood is low. Michelle has been symptom-free for 6 years and is currently working as a youth worker at a local organization that reaches out to youth at risk. She enjoys taking long walks and swimming, as well as reading and artistic pursuits such as music, movies, theatre, museums, and photography.

Nadia Daeng

Nadia Daeng started attending Caregiver Training Programmes at Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL) in 2016 to cope with caregiver burnout. She grew up with an older sibling who has an intellectual disability, depression and anxiety and was caregiver to her mother with dementia until she passed away. She put her career in Creative Communications and Corporate Development on pause to care for her loved ones, and now volunteers as a CAL C2C trainer and strong advocate for caregivers and mental health literacy. Motivated by her own family’s lived experience, she has been an active participant of peer support groups as well as volunteer programmes in organisations such as CAL and Resilience Collective. Nadia believes in taking a holistic approach to educate different sectors of our society on the importance of mental health; aimed at elevating awareness for the continued support that caregivers need within our communities.


Topic: Schizophrenia 101: Breaking the Myths and Misconceptions

Date: 10 November 2022, Thursday

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm, including Q&A

Mode: Online via Zoom

Details will be emailed to all participants by 4 November 2022, Friday

Panellists: Dr Ang Yong Guan

Consultant Psychiatrist

Ang Yong Guan Psychiatry Pte Ltd

Cityruth Cocoanna Christian

Caregiver to Husband with schizophrenia & Father-in-law with dementia

Michelle Lai

Person-in-Recovery diagnosed with depression and schizoaffective disorder

Moderator: Nadia Daeng

Person-in-Recovery diagnosed with depression

Caregiver to Sibling with intellectual disability, and previously to Mother with stroke and dementia

Registration URL: Registration is now closed.

The session will be recorded. By participating in the virtual fireside chat, you automatically give us consent for you to be recorded with your camera on and name on the screen, or your camera off and name appearing on the recording. If you do not consent to being recorded, please do not register for the session and instead you may watch the recording later on this page.

We welcome everyone to join us for an informative presentation on schizophrenia by Dr Ang, follow-by an interactive panel discussion session with our panellists.


Post Event Update

Following our campaign, CAL organised a Fireside Chat on the topic of schizophrenia. The keen response demonstrated a desire among caregivers to have a better understanding of the condition. Although schizophrenia is one of the most common psychotic disorders in Singapore, misinformation remains a point of concern.

Renowned psychiatrist Dr Ang Yong Guan presented an overview of the condition, including the symptoms and available treatments. He was joined on the panel segment by caregiver Cityruth Cocoanna Christian, and person-in-recovery Michelle Lai. One of the participants, Lena Koh, said: “Not only did I benefit from Dr Ang’s professional expertise, I also gained insight on the struggles of a caregiver and heard from a client’s lived experience. Early intervention and treatment can bring hope to both caregivers and their loved ones.”

The recorded session is also available on our YouTube Channel.


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