My 3 Singapore National Day wishes and how I use TikTok to make them come true
PRIORITIZE MENTAL HEALTH
Covid-19 may not be completely over yet, but the pandemic has revealed a disturbing trend: our mental health has suffered.
We, especially young people, have struggled mightily under the weight of isolation, disconnection, and the myriad family, financial, and other issues wrought by the pandemic.
It’s time to give mental health the same importance as our physical health.
Part of prioritizing mental health is also recognizing that we all feel emotions, and that’s normal, and that we should have appropriate outlets for those feelings – whether that’s a therapist, a journal, or even on Tik Tok.
I started on TikTok in 2020 posting covers of ballads and songs due to my childhood passion for music and songwriting.
I never thought that one day I would find the confidence to talk about my seven-year struggle with anorexia.
The outpouring of support and love I received on the platform was a complete surprise and opened my eyes to other unspoken mental health issues young people struggle with today. It inspired me to become an active advocate for mental health, especially on topics like eating disorders.
Hearing about the recovery journeys of other people with anorexia through the comments on my TikTok videos also reassured me that it is getting better. And even as cliché as it sounds, it helped me remember that time and patience are what I needed in my recovery journey.
I now create TikTok videos that aim to erode the social stigma associated with mental illnesses – an easy-to-digest, rapid-fire nugget of information all at once.
In fact, as Singapore improves mental health support in schools, community and workplaces, it has definitely opened up a world full of opportunities for young people who are aspiring professional advocates and future practitioners.
This is why I am currently pursuing a Masters in Art Therapy, so that I can contribute professionally to improving the mental health landscape in Singapore.
A NEW KAMPUNG SPIRIT
I come from a generation that is more comfortable with virtual communication than face-to-face contact and real conversation.
And if there’s anything the pandemic has given me, it’s a new perspective on human connection and the importance of authentic relationships.
There may be hardly any physical kampungs left in Singapore, but I believe the kampung spirit is very much alive and we still celebrate the gotong royong spirit (an expression originating from Indonesia, which means helping each other and burden sharing) but in a new context and unique ways – even online.
I hope that as young people we can harness the beauty of technology to harness sharing and create close networks between neighbours, interest groups and like-minded Singaporeans.
As part of the pioneering batch of TikTok’s Youth for Good program, we were able to embody this community concern and share inspiring short video stories about our personal journeys, as well as offering wellness support and messages of positivity for s help each other – not unlike the camaraderie you’ll find in a kampung.
Being young is a gift – and a gift we don’t keep for long.
This is why I am determined to use my energy, spirit and vigor to live my purpose, to step into the world and make a difference for Singapore.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Yanni Ruth Chin, 21, is an inspirational singer-songwriter and a recent graduate of Deakin University. She is an active mental health advocate with over 15,000 followers on the TikTok platform, openly sharing topics such as eating disorders and the importance of staying positive.