Although Singapore has been crowned the happiest nation in Asia¹, the importance of mental well-being remains pertinent to all individuals in Singapore. Geneco, the No. 1 Residential Electricity Retailer in Singapore, announces the launch of #MySecretGarden campaign to raise awareness about Singapore’s abundant green spaces and their positive impact on mental wellness as part of its brand purpose to #PowerTheChange on the social and sustainability fronts this National Day.
National Day holds immense significance for Singaporeans, as it serves as a day of unity and celebration, transcending barriers of race, language, and religion that represents the collective spirit and shared values of the nation. By launching #MySecretGarden campaign in tandem with National Day, Geneco seeks to further inspire this collective spirit and create a positive change surrounding mental wellness to create a happier and more sustainable future for all.
To achieve this, Geneco hopes to encourage Singaporeans to appreciate and visit National Parks Board’s nine existing Therapeutic Gardens found in our parks to experience nature’s natural healing benefits that can contribute to their happiness and well-being; fostering a stronger connection with nature. Designed using science-based principles, Therapeutic Gardens are planned to facilitate people’s interactions with nature and improve the mental well-being of its visitors. In view of the benefits to the community, NParks had announced in 2020 its plans to establish 30 Therapeutic Gardens across the country by 2030.
In the vein of extrapolating the benefits that green spaces bring about to Singaporeans, Geneco will also work closely with like-minded partners, including NParks’ Garden City Fund, influencer photographer Daryl Aiden Yow, and sustainable fashion platform REFASH to showcase NParks’ Therapeutic Gardens as a haven for relaxation, healing, and self-reflection that promote mental wellness with the intention to resonate with the younger generation.
Daryl’s creative spin of Punggol Waterway Park’s Therapeutic Garden
Find your own secret garden with Daryl Aiden Yow
Designed to meet the physical, psychological and social needs of park users, Therapeutic Gardens that are found in Singapore’s parks are outdoor gardens that incorporate design principles² derived from scientific evidence to bring about optimal restorative benefits for visitors.
A study conducted by the NParks in collaboration with research partners revealed the evidence-based benefits of Therapeutic Gardens such as providing respite for visitors of all ages. According to the research, when people find themselves amidst nature, they are subconsciously directed away from the stressors of everyday life. This helps to relieve stress and brings about restorative effects to their mental well-being. In addition, nature has also been associated to have a positive effect on brain activity, blood pressure, mental health, physical activity, and sleep³.
With the aim of raising awareness of these Therapeutic Gardens and their benefits on mental wellness, Geneco is spotlighting this topic through their partnership with Daryl Aiden Yow, a popular influencer photographer who once had to overcome his own mental health challenges when he faced public backlash back in 2018.
Known for his ethereal photography style, Geneco partnered with Daryl to shoot a series of nine photographs reimagining the current nine Therapeutic Gardens at our public parks through his creative lenses. The photographs will encapsulate the beauty and tranquillity of Singapore’s green spaces to inspire Singaporeans to step out and enjoy the outdoors while appreciating the therapeutic effects of nature.
“It’s a tremendous privilege to partner with Geneco to shed light on the incredible healing power of nature. Having personally confronted my own mental health struggles, this campaign holds a profound significance for me and I am glad to be able to join Geneco in their journey by using my photography and editing skills to capture the essence of Singapore’s Therapeutic Gardens and inspire the nation to embark on their own transformative journeys amidst nature’s embrace,” shared Daryl when asked about his thoughts on the campaign.
Capturing the beauty of NPark’s Therapeutic Gardens through Daryl’s eyes
Bringing #MySecretGarden to Funan Through A Curated Photo Gallery And Encouraging The Public To Vote For Their Favourite Images
The public can vote for their top 3 images shot by Daryl through the campaign’s website starting from 1 July (starting from 9am), where five winners will be randomly picked to win S$100 worth of eCapitaVouchers at the end of the campaign.
To further spread awareness of the Therapeutic Gardens and inspire the public to discover #MySecretGarden, Geneco will be holding a photo gallery featuring photographs taken through the lens of Daryl’s unique perspective at Funan, Basement 2, from 17th – 23rd July. The public will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite images from this photo series. Voters will be given a set of limited-edition postcards, each featuring a scenic photograph of the nine Therapeutic Gardens captured by Daryl, with lesser-known facts about each of the gardens, and a Sprout plantable pencil throughout the exhibition period. They will also receive an additional Geneco Green Starter Kit when they head down to vote over the weekend from 3pm to 6pm.
Through the carefully curated exhibition of the nine photographs taken by Daryl, attendees will be transported into a world of serenity, where they can find solace and inspiration amidst the bustling cityscape. This showcase aims to raise awareness about the profound connection between nature and mental health, leaving visitors with a renewed appreciation for the restorative power of green spaces and a desire to integrate them into their own lives for enhanced well-being.
Geneco will also donate S$10,000 to Garden City Fund, a registered charity and IPC established by NParks, once they reach 10,000 votes. This donation will support Therapeutic Horticulture Programmes that allows 6 to 9 community beneficiary groups to participate in the programme that uses plants and nature-related activities to fully immerse participants in the benefits of a Therapeutic Garden.
“There is much evidence that nature can help improve mental wellness, we are glad that partners like Geneco are playing an active role to create greater awareness and enable beneficiary groups to access Therapeutic Horticulture programmes that will improve their overall mental and emotional well-being. We hope that more people can support us on our journey to create more Therapeutic Gardens and programmes for the benefit of communities living in Singapore.” Professor Leo Tan, Chairman, Garden City Fund.
Jurong Lake Park
Refresh Your Mind at REFASH
In celebration of Singapore’s 58th birthday and to commemorate Plastic Free July, Geneco will also be distributing 5,800 tote bags featuring each of the top 3 voted photos from Daryl. These tote bags will be distributed through their campaign partner REFASH, Singapore’s largest thrift store brand with 16 outlets islandwide that aims to inspire the next generation of consumers to think second-hand first and build a more sustainable future for fashion. The distribution of these tote bags is scheduled to commence on 9 August at all REFASH outlets with every purchase. These tote bags serve a dual purpose – to promote responsible shopping practices by utilising tote bags to reduce plastic waste, as well as to raise awareness for the Therapeutic Gardens which are designed to help enhance our mental well-being. Accompanying the limited-edition tote bags is a set of nine postcards featuring each Therapeutic Garden.
“As a company deeply committed to slowing down the consumption habits of the fast fashion industry, REFASH is thrilled to support Geneco for their #MySecretGarden campaign,” said Aloysius Sng, founder and CEO of REFASH. “Additionally, together with Geneco, we hope to spread awareness of Singapore’s Therapeutic Gardens by promoting mental well-being through a series of pop-up photo gallery installations at our selected retail outlets. With this collaboration, we aspire to make a meaningful and positive impact in Singaporeans’ everyday life, one step at a time.”
In line with the voting contest held in July, Geneco will host a pop-up photo gallery installation featuring photographs of the nine Therapeutic Gardens at the selected REFASH outlets4. Visitors can participate in the voting contest directly at the outlets via a QR code, where they will receive the set of postcards with each vote. The pop-up aims to raise awareness about the connection between nature and mental health, leaving visitors with a renewed appreciation for our green spaces and a desire to integrate them into their lives for enhanced well-being.
“The subject of mental wellness has been an evolving topic across generations, and we felt heartened to witness the level of openness to start a conversation that has been gradually weaving into the social fabric of Singaporeans’ lives. Furthering the vision of our national pledge to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation, Geneco aims to inspire the whole nation through #MySecretGarden campaign by raising awareness of NParks’ Therapeutic Gardens and the purpose it serves,” said Alex Chan, Head of Brand, Communications and Marketing at Geneco.
“Through our collaborative efforts, we want to spotlight Singapore’s green spaces that are specially designed by NParks for all, and we hope every Singaporean can find their haven of happiness within our City in Nature. My ultimate hope for this campaign is to forge a stronger bond between Singaporeans and the restorative properties of our natural surroundings, sparking more conversations and creating a lasting impact on mental well-being.”
Join Geneco this National Day as they continue to #PowerTheChange starting from within. For more information about the campaign and upcoming events, please visit www.mysecretgarden.sg.
¹ 2023 World Happiness Report: https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2023
4 Selected REFASH outlets – Chinatown Point, Funan, and Tampines One
Images: Daryl Aiden Yow x Geneco