I am a PES E Pre-enlistee and there's a few things which worries me.
I was diagnosed with Panic disorder and Social phobia a few months ago when I went for further psychiatrist review for NS checkup.
My problem is that I would become nausea and have the urge to vomit when I feel anxious.
This problem started when I was in polytechnic and has affected me that I couldnt even present when I was in school. I get anxious about the nausea feeling or me puking even when taking the public transport. (I know this sounds ridiculous but even taking the public transport is a difficulty for me.) Hence I wouldn't eat in school or outside to prevent me from vomitting if I does become nausea.
However, now that I am about to get enlisted into the army, things are different now and there are things which I am worried about.
My questions may sound a bit childish/ridiculous but:
1) What should if I can't finish my food during BMT? Throw it away?
2) Will I get into trouble or punished if i failed to finish eating the food?
3) What should I do if i am having anxiety attacks? (My nausea feeling usually stays about 1 ~ 2 minutes.)
Don't worry. Just tell cookhouse aunties and uncles to scoop less/ don't put on tray.
No. Even if don't want to eat, just say/ don't take/ put on tray. Nobody force you to eat.
Just private talk to superior, or just report sick at medical centre.
For you, the camp doctor is always your best friend to talk to/ seek help/ counselling.
Prepare for PTP/BMT: http://iprep.ns.sg/
Secrets to Pass IPPT: http://lifestyle.www.ns.sg/features/fitnessxchange
Types of Basic Military Training
PES A/B1 BMT
This 9-week programme trains combat-fit recruits in the basic military skills to prepare them for advanced vocational training. The programme includes weapon training with the SAR 21 rifle which will teach recruits technical handling and marksmanship skills; a Battle Inoculation Course that simulates a real battlefield; a Field Camp which develops basic survival skills; progressive training to complete a 24-km route march which builds combat fitness and endurance; and hand grenade training.
For those who fail to achieve the NAPFA test silver award, they are required to undergo an 8-week Physical Training Phase (PTP) prior to the PES A/B1 BMT.
PES BP BMT
As evidence has shown that obese recruits are able to achieve optimum fitness levels and weight loss in about 19 weeks, the new BMT programme for recruits with Body Mass Index (BMI) scores exceeding 27.0 will be 19 weeks. This BMT programme is designed to help obese recruits improve their physical fitness progressively while equipping them with basic soldiering skills and knowledge.
PES B2 BMT
Enlistees who were PES C1 previously underwent a 7-week BMT programme. The new 9-week PES B2 BMT programme will be conducted for recruits who are medically fit for deployment in selected combat and combat support vocations, such as signal operators, combat medics and naval system operators. These recruits will be given a new medical classification of PES B2, in place of the existing PES C1 classification. This is to ensure that the medical classification of our soldiers is consistent with their deployment. The new 9-week programme will include customised physical training, as well as basic combat training to prepare them for their combat and combat support roles.
PES C BMT
The 9-week BMT programme will be conducted for PES C recruits. This programme will include light physical training and vocational training to prepare them for combat service support vocations, such as service medic, and those related to logistics and administration.
PES E BMT
The 4-week BMT programme will be conducted for PES E recruits. This programme will focus on, vocational training as well as National Education, SAF core values, regimentation and discipline to prepare recruits for combat service support vocations.
NS have counselling hotlines for you to call if need
The counsellors are experienced professionals.
You can call them at the following counselling hotlines:
If you think you have been treated unfairly, you can bring up the case to your Commander. We will listen to your case. Do remember to bring along all facts and supporting documents.
We will do our best to address your concerns. Servicemen are to seek redress through proper channels. Together, we can address your issue more expeditiously.
The SAF seeks to promote the well-being of every serviceman
counselling support for those whom might be facing difficulties coping with their
personal or work/training related problems. Servicemen who are experiencing
difficulties can seek help through the avenues described below.
Commander interviews of all recruits are conducted within 48 hours of enlistment into full-time NS. Regular interviews are subsequently conducted on a monthly basis during the PTP/BMT phase. Special interviews are also granted upon request. Servicemen can highlight their difficulties during these interviews for assistance.
Orientation Officers identify, assist and counsel BMT recruits with adjustment
and/or other personal problems.
NS SAF Counselling Hotline is a 24-hour confidential telephone
counselling service provided by the SAF Counselling Centre. Manned by
trained counselling personnel, the SAF Counselling Hotline offers a crisis
and telephone counselling service to all servicemen. Callers may
choose to remain anonymous. Face to face counselling is also available
at the SAF Counselling Centre upon request/referral.
SAF Paracounselling Scheme complements other existing counselling
services and provides another avenue of help at the unit level for those who
need help to deal more effectively with their problems. Paracounsellors are
specially selected, trained by and work closely under the professional guidance
and support of counsellors from the SAF Counselling Centre. Paracounsellors
can be identified through their identification badges as well as through publicity
posters displayed in their units.
Being psychologically prepared is all about knowing what to expect and being prepared for it.
To be better prepared, you can participate in Total Defence activities and Open Houses organised by the SAF/SPF/SCDF.
Perhaps you should also talk to your family members and friends who have lived the NS experience. The more you discuss with others, the more comfortable and mentally prepared you’ll become.
Because NS life is different from civilian life before enlistment, there are many adjustments you need to make.
A good way to cope is to get support from your buddy and fellow recruits. They are going through the same tough training as you, so talking to one another will help relieve some tension.
In most evenings during your leisure time, you’ll also have some time to call your family or loved ones to talk. They can give you emotional support during NS.
You can have a one-on-one interview sessions with your officer to highlight any problems you may have. If you have a personal or family problem that need to be addressed, do let the officer know—he may be able to give you some advice or time off to settle your problems.
Life in NS revolves around structure, routine and discipline. This helps us stay united as a uniformed organisation as well as imparts the rigours necessary to protect our nation and citizens.
This does not mean there is just work and no play. In fact, after a few weeks in NS and you’ll find new friends and new reasons to smile!
As a soldier, one of the biggest adjustments you’ll have to make quickly is in regimentation and discipline.
Being in a uniformed organisation, you’ll have to obey orders from your superiors. Thus some of you may feel a sudden lack of freedom to do what you want and you may find yourself having difficulties accepting authority initially.
Regimentation and discipline build strong character and toughness, so that you’ll be tough enough to handle difficult combat, crime-fighting or rescue situations without giving up or breaking down.
When you first enlist into NS, you may have concerns of being in a new territory, with new faces and new things to do. But don’t let this get to you. Just remember the saying that “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going”.
Following are some tips on what you can do to prepare yourself psychologically:
You can also speak to your friends or family members who have been through NS. Ask them to share their stories. The sharing will help you reduce some of your fears, uncertainties and doubts.
During NS you’ll be living with different people.
Because these people come from different backgrounds, they may not think like you do or react to situations like you would. Instead of trying to select your type of people, you should cherish the diversity. This is a chance for you to learn more about your fellow mates and their cultures.
You’ll find that you have many opportunities to absorb the different cultures—during training, eating, chatting or just seeing and listening. Take these opportunities and learn from people around you, you’ll have a much better appreciation of Singapore’s cultural diversity.
When patients feel at their most vulnerable, Head of medical social services at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Ms Esther Lim steps in to help them make sense of what is happening.
Such patients may have tried to take their own lives or showed signs of wanting to do so. Ms Lim also helps families cope when they have lost a loved one.
The 39-year-old's helping hand is extended not just to patients, but also to hospital staff who face challenges at home or at work, for instance, if they have been abused by a patient.
In 2003, she pioneered a programme in SGH to train health-care and social work professionals in suicide intervention. It is now also offered in SingHealth's Postgraduate Allied Health Training Institute.
Since becoming a social worker in 1995, Ms Lim, who leads a team of 85 medical social workers, has received more than 15 awards. Last year, she was one of two recipients of the Outstanding Social Worker Awards given out by the Singapore Association of Social Workers.
She is married to a 37-year-old police officer. They have a six-year-old daughter.
I specialise in suicide and crisis intervention because...
When I was working in the emergency department years ago, I saw how a crisis, such as a life-threatening illness, a serious road traffic accident or an attempted suicide, can throw a family off balance.
The sense of disbelief and loss can be overwhelming, so this is where I step in to help people make sense of what is happening.
The immediate goal is to reduce the intensity of the emotional, physical and behavioural reactions, while the long-term goal is to help families get back to as normal a life as can be.
A person's life is precious because...
We live only once, so we have to live it fully and with dignity, despite our circumstances.
One little known fact about suicidal patients is...
They are not mentally ill. Anyone facing a seemingly desperate situation can be vulnerable to feeling hopeless and helpless, which may escalate to suicidal acts if the person does not receive help or cuts himself off from others.
If I were to give an analogy for what I do, I would...
Be a bridge to connect the suicidal person with the resources around him, such as family service centres, care facilities and legal aid. Often, a person may think nobody can help him, which is not true.
The eventual goal is to reconnect the suicidal person with his family and loved ones through individual, couple or family sessions.
A typical day for me would...
Start at 8.30am with administrative duties, followed by morning staff meetings or journal club sessions. I meet senior staff members regularly to plan and implement assistance schemes which benefit patients.
Other medical social workers also come to me to seek advice on cases they are working on. I co-manage the difficult cases, such as those which may involve suicide, or in which patients or family members consistently display behavioural difficulties.
I also support hospital staff members who need help and teach them coping strategies.
I have come across all types of cases...
But I find that families with strong social support fare better in crises. After the initial shock and confusion, members organise themselves very quickly to protect the affected family member by providing physiological and emotional comfort.
I love patients who...
Make it a point to turn up for their follow-up counselling sessions because this shows their readiness and motivation for change.
Patients who are forthcoming, open to working with their families and willing to reflect on themselves often make better progress.
They pick up positive coping strategies to deal with life's challenges, which range from relationship discord, financial issues to mental health or addiction challenges.
Patients who get my goat are...
Those who blame everyone else for their problems, without realising that they have a part to play.
For instance, a suicidal husband may be domineering at home and may keep blaming his wife and children, without realising that he has failed to communicate properly with them.
This can also explain the persistent suicidal behaviour in some patients. This vicious circle may wear out their loved ones and cut patients off from the support they used to have.
Things that put a smile on my face are...
Receiving handmade cards from the children of one patient whom I saw for attempted suicide and depression over several years.
Every year, though the drawings and handwriting would mature, they always conveyed their appreciation to me for being there for their mother.
It breaks my heart when...
An elderly patient asks me if the doctor can help end his life because he does not want to burden his children.
I realise, through interaction with elderly patients, that they are so stoic and self-reliant that they feel useless when they cannot contribute financially, take care of their grandchildren or, worse still, become disabled.
They have laboured hard all their lives, yet they have not come to accept that there is a time to receive unconditional care in return.
I would not trade places for the world because...
There is still so much to be done that I cannot find enough time for everything. This is what I am trained for and playing a part to restore equilibrium to lives is a constant reminder to live mine fully.
My best tip is...
To learn to take charge of emotions, thus reducing the likelihood of acting on impulse when emotionally charged.
Some things which may help include taking slow, deep breaths, sharing your problems with a trusted mentor and putting vexing matters on the back-burner, that is, taking your mind off it and revisiting the issue when you are calmer.
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-2214444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-2837019
Sage Counselling Centre: 1800-5555555
Care Corner Mandarin Counselling: 1800-3535800
The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) is a 2,000-bed acute tertiary psychiatric hospital situated on a 25-hectare campus at Buangkok Green Medical Park. Set amidst serene surroundings, IMH offers a comprehensive range of psychiatric, rehabilitative and counselling services for children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly.
IMH’s tradition of care started in 1928. We were the first mental hospital in Singapore, starting with some 1,000 patients. Since then, many advances have been made in treatment, training, and research. Our treatment integrates evidence-based therapies, supported by the departments of clinical psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, and medical social work, to provide holistic care for our patients. IMH is equipped with modern facilities, with 50 wards for inpatients and seven Specialist Outpatient Clinics.
IMH was the first mental health institution in Asia to receive the Joint Commission International Accreditation in 2005, a highly coveted international accreditation for healthcare organisations.
Over the years, IMH has gained a reputation for quality research. In 2008, the Ministry of Health, Singapore, entrusted IMH with a S$25 million research grant to implement translational and clinical research into the causes of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders.
IMH also plays a key role in training the next generation of mental health professionals in Singapore. We train psychiatrists and mental health professionals through the NHG-AHPL Residency Programme for psychiatry and through collaborations with the local tertiary institutions.
Buangkok Green Medical Park
10 Buangkok View