It was a day in the Safari for some 32 long-stay patients from the Institute of Mental Health, as they made their first visit to the Singapore River Safari on 21 January 2017.
Despite the rain, the smiles from the patients and the 31 psychiatry residents, faculty and programme director from the National Healthcare Group (NHG) Psychiatriy Residency Programme, warmed the atmosphere as they were greeted by the wide range of wildlife at the River Safari.
Co-organised by the NHG Psychiatry Residency and the Singapore Young Psychiatrists and Trainees, the day trip marked the second NHG Psychiatry Residency Day. This annual event organised by the psychiatry residents dedicates a day for the residents and faculty to give back to the community.
"Since Psychiatry Residency Day started in 2016, it is hoped that this annual event will remind the residents about the responsibility for outreach to others beyond themselves; as well as provide a platform to foster greater bonds and friendship amongst the residents across the years,” said Adjunct Associate Professor Sim Kang, Programme Director, NHG Psychiatry Residency, who participated in the event.
Dr Ong Jun Yan, NHG Psychiatry Resident, and organising committee member of the event highlighted that the close interaction with the patients in a non-clinical environment provided the residents and faculty a different perspective of the patients, a better appreciation of their life stories, and an understanding of the difficulties they face. “This experience served as a good reminder of how we should treat patients holistically as a person and not just be focused on managing the illness,” she said.