A single mother of five, Mdm. Mary faced with many challenges after her second husband left home. Relieved at a newly opened Family Service Centre near her residence and encouraged by a friend who had also sought help there, she approached Fei Yue Family Service Centre (FSC) for her financial and parenting difficulties in July 2013. At Fei Yue FSC, she worked with her social worker to apply for financial assistance to help tide her family through. As she sensed her social worker’s empathy and concern for her difficulties, she found this to be a safe environment to talk about her problems.

In her 3.5 years with Fei Yue FSC, she experienced one problem after another as she struggled with poor health, unemployment, a money scam case, and her teenage children’s rebellious behaviours. Through all these, she is thankful that her social worker was there to journey with her. When she reached her lowest point in 2015, she had occasional thoughts of suicide and was found to have depression. However, she was motivated by her commitment to her children and found strength to face her challenges through the encouragement of her social worker. She also learnt new knowledge and skills in parenting teenagers with their changing developmental needs, which helped her to cope better emotionally.

In early 2016, Mdm. Mary joined ‘Beautiful Minds’ – a support group for women experiencing depression or depressive symptoms. This was a highlight for her as she realized that she was not alone in her struggles with depression. She bonded with the other participants, as they encouraged and inspired one another with their stories.

Having experienced the help and support from Fei Yue FSC, she shares her story with others to encourage them to seek help. While she continues to face challenges with unstable employment and occasional depressive moods, Mdm. Mary is now better able to regulate her emotions, telling herself to be patient. She also enjoys a better relationship with her children. While her situation is far from perfect, she is motivated to work towards a day when she would be able to secure permanent employment and purchase a HDB flat for herself and her children. Her simple dream is to see her children grow up well.