singapore mindfulness conference 2019
Close to 1,000 participants from all walks of life attended the Singapore Mindfulness Conference (SMC) organised by Brahm Centre on 24 and 25 August 2019 at the University Cultural Centre. This event was graced by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and Environment.
In his welcome address, Prof Choo Chiau Beng, Rector of NUS Residential College 4 and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Raffles Institution, said,
“Enhancing our psychological well-being is core to developing strong bonds and navigating challenging situations. In line with this, NUS RC4 introduced a mindfulness module, currently taught by Adjunct A/Prof Angie Chew of Brahm Centre, to two intakes of students so far. This module has been very well-received. One student shared that he is extremely grateful for the module as it allowed him to embark on a fulfilling journey of self-discovery and learn more about life.”
The carefully curated 2-day program featured nearly 30 esteemed speakers – neuroscientists, doctors, educators, mental health experts – who shared their wealth of expertise on 4 main themes:
- Medicine for Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia and Pain
- Mindful Parenting & Positive Behavioural Transformation
- Personal and Organisational Performance
- Improving Cognition & Slowing Down Ageing
Can mindfulness training improve sleep?
A joint research study by Duke-NUS Medical School and Brahm Centre was presented at the conference. The findings suggest that a short course of mindfulness training may lay the groundwork for improving sleep quality by reducing anxious thoughts at bedtime.
In her opening address, Dr Amy Khor said,
“Taking an important step to promote evidence-based practice, Brahm Centre has partnered with Duke-NUS Medical School in a local study involving 96 participants. The results demonstrated that a four-week mindfulness practice can reduce anxiety and ruminative thoughts before sleep, and that this reduction is associated with better sleep quality. This study is being published in the journal Mindfulness. These findings can help to adapt and refine the practice of mindfulness in the Singaporean context for better outcomes in the primary prevention of mental health conditions.”
How can we lead a mindful lifestyle?
To mitigate the harmful environmental effects of climate change, a set of reusable cutlery was distributed to all the participants. Participants were also encouraged bring their own water bottles for the 2-day conference. The result was heartening – a reduction of thousands of single use plastic utensils.
“We are so encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received on this simple act of cutting down on non-biodegradable waste. Climate change is a serious issue and I hope every one of us can do our part to make a positive difference. We can start by being mindful of our habits and incorporating simple lifestyle changes like keeping a set of reusable cutlery in our bags,” said Adjunct A/Prof Angie Chew, NUS Residential College 4 and CEO of Brahm Centre, who conceptualised this eco-friendly idea.
The Singapore Mindfulness Conference 2019 was supported by the National University of Singapore Residential College 4, Duke-NUS Medical School, National Healthcare Group, the Institute of Mental Health and the Agency for Integrated Care, the generous donations from Turbo One, Prof Choo Chiau Beng, Vince Tan and Dr Ang Beng Choo.
What did our participants say?
“I learnt a lot from the wonderful variety of talks on both theory and personal experience.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the short practice sessions during the talks. Relevant and interesting!”
“It provided a valuable opportunity for me to reflect and think about how to lead the life I want.”
“I am genuinely impressed by the calibre of presenters. I am looking forward to SMC 2020!”
Are the talks available online?
Yes! You can catch excerpts of selected talks now via Brahm Centre’s YouTube channel.
Alternatively, you may view these talks according to the themes below:
Medicine for Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia and Pain
Personal and Organisational Performance
Improving Cognition & Slowing Down Ageing
For the full list of speakers at SMC 2019, click here.