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New PDF release: Advancing occupational therapy in mental health practice

By McKay, Elizabeth Anne

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I discovered that my father knew him. This took place in a housing estate of British colonial homes in Singapore in the 1970s. My father was the chief pharmacist at the psychiatric institution in Singapore, Woodbridge Hospital, near where we lived. Ah Seng was a patient in a long-term rehabilitation ward; as he was not considered to be a risk to others, he enjoyed the freedom to roam the surrounding area. This triggered my interest in him and the other patients, and led me during my school holidays to spend time with my father at the hospital.

Diagnosis is important, as treatment is centred on identifying and counteracting the problem (Masi, 1992; Lim, 2001). This contrasts with the non-Western perspective, where mental ill health may be attributed to a failure to maintain life balance or a consequence of witchcraft or incurring a curse (Helman, 2000). This view negates the importance of adhering to a medication regime, and a visit to a healer or maintaining a balance through traditional remedies may be reasoned to be more effective.

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (2005) Defining a Good Mental Health Service – A Discussion Paper. London: Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. indd 29 11/7/2007 4:39:21 PM 3 Cultural sensitivity in context Kee Hean Lim Personal narrative Ah Seng was a frequent visitor around our neighbourhood, and he would often be found asking for money or small jobs to do in return for some financial reward. I was 6 years old when I became aware of his visits, and I was intrigued by who he was and where he came from.

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