Lien Foundation Launches Father’s Day Contest to Highlight Senior Men's Stories - Alvinology

Lien Foundation Launches Father’s Day Contest to Highlight Senior Men’s Stories

The Lien Foundation has announced “Mentalking,” a special Father’s Day social media contest aimed at bringing the voices and wisdom of senior men into the spotlight. The initiative encourages Singaporeans to interview their fathers or father figures, share these stories online, and stand a chance to win prizes worth $3,000.

Lien Foundation Launches Father’s Day Contest to Highlight Senior Men's Stories - Alvinology

How to Participate

To join the contest, participants need to:

  1. Conduct a short video interview with their father or a father figure (who could be a relative, friend, colleague, mentor, teacher, or grandfather).
  2. Use the provided template of 10 suggested questions for the interview.
  3. Share the video on social media.

The contest emphasizes participation over production quality. Ten winners will be randomly selected to receive dining vouchers worth $150 each. Additionally, three other winners will be chosen for the creativity and quality of their videos, earning Great Rewards vouchers worth $500 each.

Addressing Loneliness Among Senior Men

A 2016 Duke-NUS study revealed that 34% of elderly Singaporeans experience loneliness, a figure that increases with age. Moreover, the Ministry of Health’s National Population Health Survey 2022 indicated that seniors are less likely to seek help for mental health issues compared to younger generations. This reluctance is due to unfamiliarity with mental health, the belief that mental illness is a normal part of ageing, and a desire not to burden their families. At the 2023 National Day Rally, then-Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong identified loneliness as one of the biggest threats to seniors’ well-being.

Efforts to Combat Loneliness

The government has established a network of Active Ageing Centres (AACs) to help seniors stay engaged. However, men are vastly outnumbered by women at these centres, with male participation typically around 10 to 20%. Reasons for this include the predominance of female staff at AACs, female-oriented activities, men’s aversion to structured programs, and discomfort with mixed-gender social activities.

Without the support of such centres, many senior men spend more time alone. Social service professionals note that these men often lack strong social networks outside of work, spending their retirement years in kopitiams, malls, or on long bus rides.

The Inspiration Behind Mentalking

To better understand the lives and perspectives of senior men, award-winning photojournalist and NTU adjunct lecturer Samuel He conducted 20 video interviews with senior men in kopitiams and other community spaces. These candid conversations covered a range of topics, revealing wisdom gained from their struggles and triumphs.

The insights and endearing stories captured in these interviews inspired the creation of the Mentalking contest. By encouraging people to share their own interviews, the Lien Foundation hopes to honour the lives of senior men and foster a deeper understanding of their experiences.

Leave a Reply

Related Posts