Raymond Vamadevan
Senior Case Manager
Institute of Mental Health

A multi-disciplinary approach can go a long way in the care of patients. Sixty-year-old Mr Lim is one such case. He first came to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in 1995 to treat his mental health issues and was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

Mr Lim, who is single, would be compliant with treatment but had poor coping skills and was unable to care for himself in the community. This resulted in him having multiple admissions from 2006 to 2010. He was then referred to IMH’s multi-disciplinary Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), who visited him in his home to check on him and provide support.

During a session, I noticed that Mr Lim was in low spirits. He shared with us that he was experiencing issues with his tenants and was not able to evict them from his home. He was also being harassed by money lenders.

For the next few months, CMHT staff, the medical social worker and I provided close supervision and support to Mr Lim. I provided intensive counselling and it helped him cope better with his social issues. With the help of the police, we managed to evict the tenants from Mr Lim’s residence. Mr Lim is doing much better now and has even found a job.

Key Learning Points:

  1. A multi-disciplinary approach to handling cases can have far-reaching effects.
  2. Being sensitive to changes in a patient’s mood can uncover underlying factors.
  3. Intensive counselling helps patients cope better with the various stress factors in their lives.