Our Story
When Heart Work and Values Aligns
Jeremy Heng
Assistant Director and Senior Clinical Psychologist, Singapore Children’s Society
Published on 01/11/19
Meet Jeremy Heng, a Clinical Psychologist whose beliefs and values reminded him to reach out to the vulnerable and support them in meaningful ways as a Psychologist. This is his story.


What sparked your interest in social service?

Through volunteering in various roles, I had the opportunity to interact with different segments of society. This led me to realise that there was a genuine need for psychological services, 
especially for families who struggle with the stresses of day-to-day living. 
Poor mental health may perpetuate some of the challenges these families experience, like sustaining employment or coping with school. 
I felt that I could do more for these people.

What is the driving force behind your decision to work in social service?

My beliefs and values remind me to reach out to the most vulnerable and marginalised in society, and support them in meaningful ways as a Psychologist.

Besides passion, what other qualities do you think are needed to work in this industry?

A sense of humour! Clients appreciate that appropriate injection of laughter during the course of work, which can get serious. 
It helps to create a sense of familiarity and humanness in our daily interactions with them, by reminding all of us that we are more similar than different.

What has your experience been like in the sector so far?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ride so far because the work I do is close to my heart and aligns with my values, allowing me to help clients at critical moments in their life journey. 
I was working with a mother who was prone to using excessive physical punishment with her teenage sons due to her desperation to manage their misbehaviours.
I focused on equipping her with emotion regulation skills and alternative parenting strategies, but was met with limited progress and low motivation for change. 
However, her worsening health condition led her to realise that she may have limited time to spend with the boys, and that became her impetus for change.

What do you like most about working in social service?

The privilege of being allowed by families I work with to enter into the most intimate aspects of their lives – to hear their stories, be part of their journey, and witness their struggles and victories.

Why did you choose to take up the Social Service Scholarship?

To receive financial support to pursue an area of study that I’m interested in, and then to be able to use that knowledge to serve people and communities that I feel strongly for – it was a natural choice.

What advice would you give to those who are considering the Social Service Scholarship?

If you have a heart for social service, just go for it. You will have opportunities to participate in training and programmes that not only further your professional development, but also help you to take on a more macro view and be sensitive to trends, gaps, and areas for progress.

A role in psychology is one of many in social service. To find out more, read about a career in psychology.