Sharings of a Toilet Cleaner & a Road Sweeper - A Human Library Experience

In a bid to raise funds for mental health causes at Acting Up, our Youth Beneficiaries and Community Partners are stepping out of shadows and onto an online platform to share personal experiences of recovery. Exploring themes such as drug addictions, social struggles and mental health afflictions, our youth aim to debunk the myth of a "beautiful" recovery, and share how struggles can be managed by every tiny success. "Readers" have an opportunity to interact, ask questions and affirm our youths during the discussion forums. Each session will be moderated by staff from Acting Up. Come journey with us as we trudge through tough times together.


Acting Up is a social enterprise that provides therapeutic follow up for youth at no cost to them. We are not funded by any organizations and rely fully on our workshop and courses to fund our projects and initiatives. Acting Up works with fellow community partners to provide employment, guidance and mentorship for youth in need. In turn, our Youth reach out to others in need through social projects.

Covid19 has hit us hard, resulting in an inability to sufficiently support our youth beneficiaries in the programmes for and by them. In a bid to raise funds, we are sharing our personal stories of recovery, with the hopes of reaching out to the community as well as raising funds to continue our youth mental health projects.

We would appreciate any amount of donation to ensure no young person is left behind during tough times. Kindly contact Jung Tou at admin@actingupsingapore.com if you like to make a donation.


Acting Up’s own Founder and Therapist, Marissa, together with a dear friend, Daphne, will be sharing their personal experience of living with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Anxiety following a traumatic and abusive experience in a local Primary school in Singapore.

It was a Catholic Girls’ School. We were supposed to be safe. It was a place of God. We weren’t supposed to be hurt. It was a school. You shouldn’t have stood by to watch our pain. We were children. You were adults with no right to abuse us.

In this revealing human library session, two girls from a convent girls’ school share how their mental health was greatly impacted by the psychological, emotional and physical abuse meted out to them by their teachers. Through this sharing, we explore the impact this had on their personal lives and how they struggled with issues of self-worth way into adulthood. We also delve into a deeper understanding of the mental health conditions they live with to this day.

Come share in their story of continuous healing and recovery.

*Toilet cleaners and road sweepers are absolutely essential, respectable occupations in society. The title is such to share the sentiment of the teachers’ warped perceptions of noble professions, and how biasness and class was practiced within the school setting.

About our Human Books

Marissa Teo is a multi-modal, creative arts therapist and the founder of Acting Up; a social enterprise providing arts-based, therapeutic interventions for emotionally vulnerable youth. In the past decade of work with youth, Marissa has come to see the value of early intervention and the importance of the arts in emotional expression. Music, dance, drama and visual arts are some of the modalities she uses to engage youth. Her experience includes providing therapeutic intervention at residential and rehabilitation institutions in Singapore, as well as providing mental health training for professionals and therapeutic programmes for schools and orphanages, with a focus on preventive work for mental health.

Daphne is a freelance special education needs educator who helps adolescents and children with Special Education Needs (SEN) achieve their fullest potential. Inspired by her early students, she went on to earn a Master of Arts (SEN) from the university of South Wales in 2016, with a special interest in coping mechanisms utilised by Asian adolescents and children with SEN.

Armed with over 8 years of experience, she has worked with adolescents and children with a myriad of learning difficulties, in close consultation with the parents to improving test scores, alleviating anxieties about school and personal development through humour and various strategies.
Sat Jul 18, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM SGT
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General Admission FULL

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