Braving The Dark Clouds of Anxiety and Depression

Growing up in a broken family and raised by her grandmother, Irene was ostracised and bullied throughout her childhood by neighbours and classmates. Without much guidance, Irene dropped out of school.

They called me terrible names growing up. The comments stayed with me until today. I had no friends, no one to fend for me then. I don’t want my grandchildren to go through what I did,” shared Irene who is now 51 years old.

After getting married, Irene stopped work for health reasons and to care for her family. These days, she lives in a HDB 2-room flat with her husband, a 32-year-old daughter who is a single mother to two children, aged 10 and 4.

The family relies mainly on her husband’s income as a delivery driver. The anxiety over escalating living costs added to the stress of being the main caregiver of her young grandchildren and family. Overwhelmed, Irene experienced bouts of anxiety and depression. It was during one of these challenging periods that led her to seek help from MWS Covenant Family Service Centre – Buangkok (CFSC).

Sometimes I feel lonely and can feel my depression coming back. I will then reach out to MWS for help because I know I cannot fall. I have to take care of my family. But financial pressures are the worst. Money is tight and I feel very stressed and helpless,” said Irene.

Irene was also placed on the MWS Family Development Programme, a debt-clearance and savings programme which matches $2 for every dollar that the client comes out-of-pocket to clear debts or save.

MWS CFSC has been supporting Irene for a number of years now. Besides casework intervention and counselling, Irene also receives referrals to relevant agencies such as childcare centres, schools and financial institutions.

Counsellors and social workers at MWS CFSC are people who are willing to go all the way for me, even though we are not related. They make me feel like they really care,” shared Irene.

“After clearing my debts and accumulating some savings, my load really became lighter. Thanks to the programme, I recently purchased a mattress for my family which I couldn’t afford before. When I see neighbours struggling, I encourage them to seek help from MWS.”

At MWS, we aspire every day to empower people to break out of poverty in its different forms, from financial poverty, poor health, social support to fractured relationships, lack of opportunities and choices. Poverty not only affects the current generation but spans generations if they do not receive the much-needed support to break out of its vicious cycle.

Please give generously to help over 11,000 families and individuals like Irene to weather life’s storms with hope and dignity.

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