"If you are in distress, seek help immediately and get in touch with your secure base. Talk to someone close and trusted." This is the message that Betty Ong hopes to convey through her book, "Ripples".
Betty is a registered counsellor with an Advanced Diploma/Certificate in Counselling at the University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom, covering client-centred, psychoanalysis, existentialism and postmodernism perspectives.
She is a dual-registered nurse in both general and psychiatric nursing. In addition, she is a Specialist Nurse in substance misuse, and a nursing activist. Now retired and back home in Ipoh, her last posting was with the Central North-West London NHS Trust for eight years.
Speaking at the launch of "Ripples", organised by Perak Academy, Betty advised all present to take charge of their mental health. "Ripples" is a resource book on rich life influences that nurture strong mindsets and meaningful lives. With a healthy mind, one would be able to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
Betty said, "We live in a world of inescapable stressors, which can be divided into maturational and situational. Meeting with stress is part and parcel of living. Nobody can lead a stress-free life but how well we handle it depends on our response in that given situation.
Whatever our crisis, it is important that we talk about it openly and honestly, whether with family, friends or counsellors. Getting it off our chest not only helps us to look at the situation more clearly but also move towards a solution and decrease distress.
Unfortunately, many people do not know whom to turn to, or refuse to seek help because of stigma. They overreact and build up their own anxiety. Malaysians must change their mindset to learn to think differently so that mental health is not seen as taboo in society."
The launch was officiated by local philanthropist, Koon Yew Yin. who sponsored the publication of the book. A substantial number of Betty's book was snapped up by those attending the event.
The event was held at Symphony Suites Hotel, Ipoh on Saturday, January 24.