Programme raises awareness on mental health

Lyna Mohamad

VAM®BRN Sdn Bhd held a Mental Health Awareness Programme at its premises in Kampong Tanah Jambu, in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) which falls today.

A total of 92 VAM®BRN employees attended the two-day programme, facilitated by the Health Promotion Centre (HPC) under the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Apart from talks and discussions, the attendees were also provided with the information on the availability of Psychiatry Services and the National Mental Health helpline at 145.

VAM®BRN, an international joint company, has been hosting the programme since its presence in the country in 2015. The two-day event, which concluded yesterday, is the fourth one organised by the company to date.

Managing Director of VAM®BRN Hiroyuki Hatanaka told the Bulletin, “We hope to keep our employees motivated through this mental health programme in collaboration with the Mental Health Strategy Unit.

HPC Clinical Psychologist Nor Syahmun binti Haji Matassan
Attendees during the programme. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

“As our company does not have a special organisation to help the employees, this programme should educate them in finding ways to solve problems.”

HPC Clinical Psychologist Nor Syahmun binti Haji Matassan, who is the Mental Health Strategy Lead, said that the two-day event was well- received, with the audience actively participating in discussions on how to improve the quality of mental health and wellbeing in Brunei Darussalam. “The people here are now more open in talking about mental health compared to years ago, which is a welcome progress because it means that they understand that there can be no physical health without mental health,” she said.

“Alhamdulillah, we appreciate the company’s initiative in organising such an event. With World Suicide Prevention Day falling on September 10, the event actually gave us a platform to reach out to the public on the importance of looking after our mental health.”

Studies indicate that suicide is the second leading cause of deaths among individuals aged 15 to 29 years. Over 800,000 deaths from suicide occur annually, at the rate of one death per 40 seconds, while 75 per cent of suicides occur in low to middle income countries.

To raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) marks every September 10 as the World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), with over 300 activities in around 70 countries reported to the IASP in the past years.

These events include educational and commemorative programmes, press briefings and conferences, as well as social media coverage.