Sitting by the fire.place: Positioning an AI therapist chatbot in a broader constellation of mental health and wellness support

Sitting by the fire.place: Positioning an AI therapist chatbot in a broader constellation of mental health and wellness support

With Norvin Chan, founder of the AI therapist chatbot fire.place where folks can vent their feelings, we learn about how users can interact with the chatbot, tech development process, and how his growing-up experience has informed his work. We conclude with a discussion of positioning fire.place in a broader constellation of mental health and wellness support, from professional help to community initiatives.

Contemplation on a beach (Photo by Stefan Spassov on Unsplash)

#AreWeOkay and the proposal for a Mental Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Office in Singapore

SG Mental Health Matters is a community of mental health advocates and researchers, and in 2021 they ran the #AreWeOkay poll to better understand the issues of access, affordability, and quality of mental healthcare in Singapore. With two of its members today – former nominated member of parliament Anthea Ong and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Rayner Tan – we learn more about the community’s work, the poll’s findings, and their proposal for a Mental Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Office in Singapore.

Nurses in blue walking out of a food court (Photo by Ng Shi Wen)

“Are we listening?”: Coalescing around downstream and upstream mental health action (Anthea Ong; COVID-19, one year on)

One year ago, we documented community initiatives and discussed structural challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore. One year later, we are inviting the same guests back to talk about their work, how they are feeling, and what they think we have learnt or have yet to learn from the pandemic. Today, we have former nominated member of parliament Anthea Ong. Our conversation centres on mental and psychological health in Singapore as well as moving from awareness to acceptance to action. Anthea also shares the initiatives in which she’s been involved and her new podcast series, “Shades of Love”, set to launch on August 7 this year.

Relaxing at home with a book and coffee (Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash)

Burnout and self-care experiences of two young Singaporean social workers

Feelings of burnout can be unsettling or even terrifying, and around the world social work burnout has been very well-documented. Over time, we hope to better understand the causes of burnout, including the structural causes, but for now, as a start, it feels important to normalise such discourse in Singapore. Therefore, in this episode, we speak to two young Singaporean social workers, “Jing” and John Lim (savethesocialworker.com) about their experiences of burnout and self-care.