You don’t have to have been born in Singapore to understand that mental illness has remained a topic best kept secret for a very long time. In fact, people living in most Asian cultures would prefer to reveal any number of physical ailments to the world – as long as emotional illnesses are not on the list.
But what happens when a problem grows from silent secret to pandemic? That silence tends to be broken. That’s why one of the nation’s most vociferous voices is TOUCH, a non-profit charity that brings the subject of mental illness into the sunlight and helps make debilitating emotional illnesses a topic of discussion in all quarters of Singapore society.
TOUCH relies upon the generosity of contributors to fund 17 services — and one of the ways that’s done is through the Light of Hope Run 2017. Athletes undertake their favourite exercise to contribute their time, enthusiasm and support to this worthy cause.
Formerly known as the Make a Difference Race (MAD), this name change is but one improvement you’ll find if you ran the 2015 and/or 2016 MAD races. Everything from the logo to activities held in conjunction with this race will make this event extra special.
5 Reasons to support TOUCH on 30th September
- TOUCH Programs and services meet the needs of 30,000 clients and 212,000 service users.
- Nobody’s left out: children from low income families, at-risk youth, citizens with special needs, those in need of medical assistance, needy families and the most vulnerable elderly people among us.
- Discrimination doesn’t exist when it comes to serving people of all races, religions, ages and backgrounds.
- TOUCH does both domestic and international outreach so this charity’s reputation is solid.
- Learn more about this non-profit organisation at www.touch.org.sg and you’ll be convinced of its worthiness.
About the Light of Hope Run
No flashlights required when you show up at Gardens by the Bay (East) at 6 p.m. to join like-minded runners shine a Light of Hope on depression, one of the most frequently diagnosed mental health issues in Singapore. You have only to check Institute of Mental Health (IMH) statistics to see how pervasive Major Depressive Disorders are in our nation.
As a matter of fact, 5-percent of all Singaporeans will be diagnosed with some form of depression during their lifetimes. By participating, you will join a projected 2,500 runners equally committed to the cause when you choose from the event’s two categories: the 7km Competitive Run and a 3.5km Buddy Run. Then, attend the festive post-run carnival staged to celebrate victories over time, distance, obstacles and depression.
As a savvy runner, you already know that fighting depression can require seeking professional help and perhaps taking medications — but many runners are convinced that an important aspect of a full recovery plan includes adopting a running program.
Your participation at the Light of Hope Run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. sends multiple messages to the community that running can help combat depression and in concert with TOUCH services, it can be beaten.
No ordinary run by any means
Before you dismiss the Light of Hope Run as “same old, same old,” we’d like to fill you in on the unique nature of this event. Those eager to show their commitment during that 7km distance will collect rainbow-coloured wrist bands for each kilometre they conquer – each colour symbolising empowerment and hope.
Participate in the non-competitive 3.5km Buddy Run and you and your partner will visit four challenge stations along the run route set up to present physical or mental challenges representing those encountered by the mentally ill as they strive to overcome odds they face every day while doing the ordinary things we take for granted.
Wear the rainbow
Entitlements? Add to your collection with these redesigned perks. Your Light of Hope Run t-shirt design is white and splashed with colours and a black, logo-embellished drawstring bag with bold graphics (including a bright yellow spotlight).
Wear all seven wrist bands in those signature rainbow hues and snap on your LED-powered shoe clip to help light your way from start to finish — no matter which event you pick. Cross the finish line and add a rainbow-embellished medal to your library of accomplishments.
Registration is in full swing so take advantage of Early Bird registration fees before you get busy recruiting your team of friends and neighbours to come out and support this worthwhile cause.
This event belongs on your fall calendar, so don’t let summer get away from you before you commit to this important run. Reserve your place at Spacebib today.
Are you one of the 5-percent for whom depression has already struck? What made you decide to employ running as part of your therapy programme? We would love to hear how running changed your life.