Lisa* faced numerous struggles and challenges in her role as the main caregiver for her son who had been diagnosed with Dyslexia, Depression and Autism.
Understanding her son’s behaviour was challenging, especially when he became violent or angry. She tried various approaches such as bringing him to the temple, engaging in church activities and different forms of therapy, all in the hope of finding what would work best for him. It was particularly tough when her son was bullied by his schoolmates, which drove him to attempt suicide. Loneliness and the lack of support from family members added to her burden, as they did not fully comprehend the situation.
When her son was referred to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Lisa initially had reservations, thinking that IMH was only for individuals with severe mental health issues. However, she soon realized that IMH provided valuable support and had doctors who could help her son.
During their frequent visits to IMH, Lisa found out about the Ronald McDonald Family Room (RMFR) after a nurse recommended it, and it has now became a sanctuary for her son. Her son soon began to look forward spending time there before his appointments and therapy sessions. Over the course of 2 years, the RMFR became a place of comfort and anticipation for him. It provided a quiet and safe space where both she and her son could retreat and find solace. The variety of snacks that her son enjoyed made the room even more appealing. Lisa deeply appreciates the friendly nature of Mano, Senior Operations Executive who made them feel welcome and comfortable during their visits.
Looking back on her journey, Lisa recognized the importance of reaching out to fellow caregivers. She believes that encouragement and support from others would have made a significant difference. To fellow caregivers, she would say, “You are not alone. Take one step at a time and remember to give yourself and your child space to breathe. Seek help, stay flexible, and be open to different approaches.”
Lisa, Beneficiary of Ronald McDonald Family Room at Institute of Mental Health
*Name and image used has been changed to protect the identity of our beneficiaries.