ABOUT DR SIMON YAM (OR 'BRO SIMON')
MY PERSONAL LIVED EXPERIENCE: HITTING ROCK BOTTOM
I have a personal lived experience and narrative which allow me to truly understand the inherent struggles many blokes go through in life. My personal life and its challenges is no different to anyone else's. I have had my rough couple of years, to the point of giving up on life. I l felt like a total failure inside despite my achievements, and was feeling helpless, hopeless, worthless, resentful and very, very tired.
However, in 2017, it took a tragic death – a suicide from a young bloke – to trigger the will to live, and to live the best life I have been given. I have learnt valuable life lessons along the way. I believe there is a reason why we experience these tumultuous chapters in our lives, and for me, these narratives add to my greater understanding of, and confidence in how I can help others.
My story is about survival – finding the courage and resilience to keep going, and to re-frame my reality to keep living life positively. It is about letting go of inhibitions, society expectations and barriers for men to speak up, to talk about our emotions, fears and insecurities, and to embrace our needs and desires as individuals on life’s journey.
MY BODY ART - EMBRACING MY HERITAGE AND VALUES
Many whom I have met - whether they are colleagues, trainees, peers, clients or even just hospitality staff at the local checkout - have often asked about the tattoos on my arms. I guess it is unique for them as it is written in Chinese characters. It is actually a 12-stanza poem hand-written by my late father when he was working in Africa back in the 1970s, while my mum, my sisters and I remained in Singapore. The poem reflected how much he missed his family, his deep love for us, and the core Chinese family values of harmony, benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, honesty, loyalty, and filial piety. This was one of several poems he wrote, which really struck a chord with me. Having the poem on my arms is a way of reminding me of my family in Singapore, and how much my values, passed on from my dad, guide the work of my hands for the community.
MY COMMITMENT AS A COUNSELLOR FOR GUYS
I have a clear mindset and the ability to conceptualise, understand and re-frame my clients' narratives and challenges, and find the most effective way to help them find solutions to their problems.
I am a very keen listener, patient yet firm, curious yet open to sharing my experience as a peer and mentor.
I am a people-person and will always put myself out there in the service of blokes who will benefit from my experience and expertise.
As a bloke with diverse backgrounds, I am very accepting of people from all diversities. That is what makes us so unique and different, and we all have our own stories and challenges.
I have developed a great instinct in deciphering what may be on someone's mind. Let’s say it is very much based on strong intuition, and the ability to ‘read between the lines’ in any given situation. This certainly helps when guys are struggling trying to open up.
I have ‘get-real’ tools to help you unpack the clutter in your mind, challenge your limiting beliefs, find ways to address your struggles, and take you on your journey to reach your goals. My end game is for you to attain your goal, while actually enjoying the learning curve along the way. That is how we inevitably build resilience and courage to master our own lives.
I have a no-nonsense approach to my work, and am very professional in the way I deliver my brand and my services.
I have a strong focus on accountability. I am a counsellor and mentor that WILL hold you accountable. I believe in persistence and ‘standing by' my clients.
WHAT DO I DO AS A MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID INSTRUCTOR?
To find out more about the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training I deliver, click here to visit the page.
WHAT OTHER MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING DO I OFFER?
To find out more about other men's mental health training I deliver, click here to visit the page.