A contemporary dance showcasing the frustration and struggles of young people.

Alcoholism, drug use, gaming and phone usage – these are just some of the addictions affecting young people today.

These addictions are usually a result of anxiety and depression, said Ms Yvonne Yuen, a psychotherapist from WE CARE Community Services, a centre that treats all forms of addictions.

Speaking during a talk titled Understanding Our Youths: Love and Addiction, Ms Yuen said, “Addiction is a disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the functioning of the brain and body.” One of the most common symptoms of addiction is the loss of control and continued abuse despite serious negative consequences.

She said those seeking medical help can reach out to a few institutions including the National Addiction Management Service, Changi General Hospital and Mount Elizabeth Hospital. For counselling support, WE CARE Community Services is an avenue people can turn to.

The talk on Sept 15, was held at Agape Village, and was the second in a series of public talks by Caritas Singapore to share professional knowledge and expertise on a wide variety of topics.

More than 30 parents, grandparents, teachers and counsellors, listened intently as she shared some signs of addiction to look out for such as changes in behaviour, being withdrawn and telling lies.

The event also saw YouthReach, an outreach programme run by Boys’ Town, present a short clip on young people sharing candidly about what they want in life.

Three young performers from Project Fireworks, a YouthReach initiative, then put on a play that showcased a situation at home when a teenage daughter comes home late to a cold reception from parents who had been waiting for her to have dinner together. Participants watched how a family falls apart when harsh and hurtful words are used in a fit of anger.

Four other performers also put on a contemporary dance that showcased the frustration and struggles of young people.

The next Public Talk @ Agape Village, to be held on Nov 16 at 7.30 pm, will look at “In You, Death Has Lost Its Sting: Preparing for Death.”

For more information, visit www.caritas-singapore.org.


Caritas’ public talks

In 2018, Caritas Singapore launched the first of a series of public talks at Agape Village. This series serves as a platform for Caritas member organisations and partners to share professional knowledge and expertise on a wide variety of topics, and raise awareness of the programmes and services provided by the participating organisations.

The first public talk, held on July 14, was on Understanding Labour, Birth and Postnatal Self-Care. The talk was a collaborative effort with Joyful Parenting and Clarity.


YouthReach

YouthReach helps vulnerable boys and girls, typically between ages 10 and 21, who face a range of issues such as self-harm, struggles in school, association with gangs, under-aged sex, conflicting relationships and addictions.

One of its initiatives, Project Fireworks, aims to bring out the voice of young people in a safe space. In this project, young women are exposed to arts such as drama and dance. Through the 10-week programme, they learn more about themselves and the outcome of the project is their performance.

For more information, visit https://www.boystown.org.sg/youthreach.


WE CARE

WE CARE treats all forms of addictions including drugs, alcohol, compulsive gambling, sex, porn,
eating, Internet, gaming, shopping or shoplifting.

It takes a holistic approach to help people live an addiction-free life by offering evidence-based
counselling and therapy group work. WE CARE is also a community-based drop-in centre where a safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment is provided for individuals to stabilise and work on their recovery.

For more information, visit http://www.wecare.org.sg.


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