In the bustling, efficiency-focused city-state of Singapore, where financial markets never sleep and technology advances with blistering speed, one would hardly expect a radical mental health initiative to gain ground. Yet, bucking the high-speed trend is A Kind Place Pte Ltd, a rising star in the mental health landscape. A rarity in an increasingly impersonal medical field, this establishment puts the human being—both therapist and client—front and center.
“Everyone deserves to live a good life, regardless of their mental or physical capabilities. That’s why we’ve built A Kind Place, to create a safe haven for everyone,” says Ooi Sze Jin, the company’s Director, Registered Psychologist, and Supervisor in Singapore.
Essential Skills in Compassionate Leadership
When you meet Sze Jin, her aura of empathy and mindfulness envelops you. She attributes these qualities to her leadership style, which focuses on the “four Ps”: patience, presence, professionalism, and, above all, people. “Leadership is more about understanding than ordering around,” she says. “Empathy, being present, patience, and fairness are not just words for us. They’re an integral part of our work culture.”
Cutting Edge Service, Without Cutting Corners
If you think A Kind Place is just another psychology clinic, think again. What sets this enterprise apart is not just the broad range of affordable therapy services offered but its devotion to clientele who are often marginalized.
“We offer a wide array of services, from talk therapy to mental health articles. We even offer custom training programs for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. It’s an inclusive approach, something many competitors hesitate to embrace,” Sze Jin explains.
Meeting Needs When Others Won’t
In a sector where profitability often trumps service, A Kind Place has committed to filling the gaps that other organizations sidestep. “We take on challenges that others would typically turn away,” Sze Jin says with a hint of pride. “We can tailor our services to meet our clients’ specific needs. Our staff members are compassionate, professional, and knowledgeable, which helps us provide unparalleled customer service.”
“Being a small business allows us to be nimble and to pivot when necessary. This adaptability gives us room for growth and helps us seize opportunities that larger entities might miss,” Sze Jin reflects.
A Journey of Awards and Recognitions
Within just two years of its launch, A Kind Place has been granted the status of a social enterprise by RaiSE Singapore. The clinic has also found its name among the top 10 best psychology clinics in the country—a commendable feat in such a short time.
“You’re only as strong as your weakest link,” Sze Jin says, underlining one of the most valuable lessons she has learned in her career. “That’s why it’s crucial to take care of your employees and help them grow with the team.”
More than a Clinic, a Movement
A Kind Place is more than just a clinic; it’s a movement. Founded in 2021 by Ooi Sze Jin, the company expanded its offerings within just six months to provide special needs training services and caregiver support groups. Recognized in 2022 as a Social Enterprise, A Kind Place is doing good and serving the community, notably offering services to populations often underserved, such as those with severe intellectual disabilities or cerebral palsy.
The Road Ahead
“A Kind Place was started because there was a need in the community for an empathetic, tailored approach to mental health,” Sze Jin says. “We believe that mental health is a right, not a privilege. That’s why we’ll continue to push the boundaries and be a sanctuary for all.”
In a world often marked by divisions, indifference, and exclusivity, A Kind Place stands as a testament to what can be achieved when humanity takes center stage. It represents a potent reminder that in an increasingly mechanized world, the highest forms of technology and sophistication should serve, first and foremost, the deepest and most universal human needs.
It is a message that Sze Jin hopes will be heard far and wide: “We are all human, and we need more companies to serve the underserved population. There’s a broader social responsibility we have, and we’re fully committed to it.”