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By McKay, Elizabeth Anne

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Indd 29 11/7/2007 4:39:21 PM 3 Cultural sensitivity in context Kee Hean Lim Personal narrative Ah Seng was a frequent visitor around our neighbourhood, and he would often be found asking for money or small jobs to do in return for some financial reward. I was 6 years old when I became aware of his visits, and I was intrigued by who he was and where he came from. I discovered that my father knew him. This took place in a housing estate of British colonial homes in Singapore in the 1970s. My father was the chief pharmacist at the psychiatric institution in Singapore, Woodbridge Hospital, near where we lived.

Four posts, three occupational therapy technical instructors and one nursing assistant, were re-deployed to community mental health teams, and it seemed prudent to use the opportunity to undertake some review of these roles to promote these posts as STR workers. But work needed to be done to examine how current post holders were working in terms of adherence to the concept of STR workers. A borough-wide audit was conducted to record the numbers and location of potential STR workers in other parts of the service.

What was notable was the disproportionate number of black young men on the ward – a phenomenon replicated throughout the hospital. Cultural sensitivity, in this context, is my passion and research interest. This includes culturally sensitive practice, socio-cultural construction of occupational therapy and occupation, social inclusion and recovery of mental health service users and the Kawa ‘River’ Model. Introduction This chapter will clarify the key terms used and explore the evolving sociocultural contexts.

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