24 October 2018 | News
Castles in the Air, currently open for viewing at the lobby of Ascent, Singapore Science Park, is the creative manifestation of recovering patients with mental health conditions, borne from the desire of Johnson & Johnson and the community organizations to prove that recovery and community re-integration for mental health patients is possible with the right platform and support.
Castles in the Air Partners
Singapore – Johnson & Johnson (J&J) called for more community support and a holistic approach to mental health recovery during the unveiling of Castles in the Air, an exhibit marking the culmination of its art residency program together with Singapore Association for Mental Health, Institute of Mental Health, National Council of Social Service, Club Heal and Chan + Hori Contemporary. Castles in the Air, currently open for viewing at the lobby of Ascent, Singapore Science Park, is the creative manifestation of recovering patients with mental health conditions, borne from the desire of Johnson & Johnson and the community organizations to prove that recovery and community re-integration for mental health patients is possible with the right platform and support.
Mental health issues can affect anyone at any point in their lifetime and can range from stress and anxiety from day-to-day life, through to more serious clinical psychosis, such as schizophrenia. Despite it being commonplace in Singapore, comprising 9.3% of the total disease burden, patients are still misunderstood and stigmatized. In fact, recent studies showed 50% of Singaporeans believe mental illness is a sign of weakness, and approximately 90% think the affected could get better if they wanted to.
Castles in the Air is a creative display of artworks capturing the artistic impression of patients with mental health conditions. The patients underwent a series of creative workshop sessions guided by multidisciplinary artist, anGie seah. The creative workshop sessions used art to help individuals cope with the stress and difficulties associated with their conditions. It provided an avenue for patients to express their emotions and feelings through their artwork which may not be necessarily easily expressed in words.
“For over 130 years, Johnson & Johnson has championed supporting patients with mental health conditions and developing innovative treatments to improve their lives. This focus began in 1958 when Dr. Paul Janssen pioneered one of the first drug therapies for schizophrenia, which allowed patients to be treated at home, rather than be institutionalized. In Singapore, we have a relentless commitment to strengthening health systems, tackling stigma, educating the public and reducing the burden of mental illness on society. This commitment is at the heart of Our Credo – to put the needs and well-being of people and communities we serve first.
"Castles in the Air is an important platform to improve social awareness on mental health, reduce the myths and stigma associated with conditions like schizophrenia, and forge partnerships to help deliver holistic, recovery-focused community care.,” said Guillermo Frydman, Managing Director of J&J Singapore.
“Platforms like Castles in the Air give our clients an opportunity to showcase their talents as well as build self-esteem and social networks. Through such programs, we can provide support to people with mental health issues, help in their recovery and facilitate re-integration to the community,” added Dr. Swapna K. Verma, Senior Consultant & Chief, Department of Psychosis, Institute of Mental Health (IMH).