Growing up, Abelina Chen enjoyed having conversations with people from all walks of life; it helped her gain new perspectives into the lives of others. Her current stint as a Rehabilitation Counsellor at Singapore Anglican Community Services made her realise the need to keep herself abreast of social policies to meet the psychosocial needs of her clients. She took it up a notch and applied to pursue her masters in social work.
“My decision to take on this job was met with doubts at first. Family and friends were concerned about its prospects, pay, and if I might suffer from burnout. But hey, things have turned out well!
Working in mental health, I discovered that healing begins just by listening... and that’s what I want to do – to be the reason someone feels seen, heard and supported no matter who they are.
I had a client who was put on trial for a crime that was prompted by her existing mental condition. Together with fellow social workers from partnering agencies, court psychologists and doctors, we advocated for her mental health. Eventually, she was freed from her charges. That incident was a turning point for her; she now understands the importance of adhering to the set treatment and care plans to improve her quality of life. I am happy to say that she has not committed other offences since then!
As a social worker, my job is dynamic. Every day brings new challenges and situations… I need to stay tenacious as I guide my clients and help them find their way back. Even while pursuing my master’s degree, I get to maintain a healthy balance between work and my personal life.
If you feel social work tugging at your heartstrings, reach out to those in the profession – let them guide you to discover the reason behind their choice of career. Never cease to question your calling.”
Want to make a difference in the community like Abelina? The Community Care Scholarship might be just for you. Find out more at www.aic.buzz/CommCareScholar.