Twenty-four-year-old Glennis Ang was born with a slight lisp. The constant fear of being mocked and laughed at took a toll on her self-esteem and mental wellness.
That feeling of inferiority and self-doubt affected her daily life during her years in school.
When she entered university, her self-doubt became more prominent as she feared public speaking during class presentations.
At the same time, she would also often feel overwhelmed trying to cope with various aspects of life – family, friends, relationship, studies, and her future career.
“I chose to take a road of avoidance, which bred more negative thoughts. I chose to keep things to myself as I did not want my parents to worry, which in hindsight, was something I should not have done,” she said.
Importance of Peer Support
Fortunately, she managed to recollect and emerge stronger with the help of friends and loved ones.
It also made her realise the importance of peer support.
She said peer support is essential, and mental wellness activities are equally important as they facilitate self-understanding and self-recovery.
She said: “Support from friends is definitely the key. One of the greatest takeaways in my life is my strong pillar of support. I can never do life without my friends, and I’m only able to get to where I’m now, thanks to them.”
Peer Supporters Programme
Glennis will be part of the pioneer batch of youth in the Peer Supporters Programme (PSP) introduced by nEbO in collaboration with Limitless Singapore.
nEbO will officially launch the PSP in the first quarter of 2023.
PSP nominees are selected from ongoing nEbO leadership training programmes with Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute.
To be certified for PSP, they will go through a 15-hour training programme by Limitless Singapore.
Qualified youth will then represent nEbO in mental health-related conventions and dialogues.
Glennis said that she looks forward to the PSP training programme, especially on how she can learn to lend support to her peers.
She added: “Very often, we engage in random catchups with our friends, talking about everything under the sun. And sometimes, these conversations get heavy.
“I hope to be able to lend any support to my friends through active listening and identifying early symptoms of stress and anxiety, and be there for them in the right way.”
In the first year of the PSP, nEbO plans to certify 20 youth who possess leadership qualities and are interested in mental wellness.
Growing the Community
Although Glennis has not started on the PSP, she has already been doing her part for the community as a nEbO leader.
She was first introduced to nEbO by her senior in university and eventually invested more time volunteering with nEbO.
She said: “Personal experiences have shaped me into who I am now. By being certified as part of PSP, I hope to contribute my experience and skills to create a greater impact on the youths’ mental well-being landscape, making sure others will be better equipped to overcome mental health challenges.”
nEbO will also be on the lookout for more youth keen to grow the mental well-being and support community.