Call for better support system for mental health

In a mental health awareness webinar held yesterday, Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari called for stronger infrastructure and support systems in schools and workplaces, to enable intervention measures and early detection.

She also highlighted findings from the Ministry of Health (MoH) that youth in their early 20s are the most vulnerable to mental health issues, with depression and anxiety as the two most diagnosed mental health problems.

Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa said mental health awareness should be continuously promoted and reinforced in the community, while acknowledging that the work of youth to promote awareness on social media enables more people to seek help.

Fifty participants took part in the webinar, with the theme ‘Protecting Mental Health: Seeking Help and the Role of the Community’.

Speaking on the panel were psychologist from MoH Nur Syahirah Chua binti Mohammad Firdaus Chua, Director of Clarity Sdn Bhd Todd McPherson, licensed counsellor at Mindful Nazihah Ibrahim and Director of Empowerior Counselling Consultancy and President of the Brunei Darussalam Counselling Association Major (Rtd) Rusli bin Bujang.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari

Moderated by Insan Mardini from Cope for Hope, the webinar touched on the aspects of mental health awareness from the perspectives of religion and health, as well as provided exposure to the existing services in Brunei Darussalam.

Last Saturday, 20 posters on mental health were distributed to 10 selected higher education institutions, sixth-form centres and secondary schools across the country, with the objective of sharing information on the existing mental health services in Brunei Darussalam, from government, private and non-governmental sectors.

Soft copies of the poster will also be disseminated via the Ministry of Education (MoE), higher education institutions and social media.

The two activities were conducted as part of the Mental Health Awareness Campaign organised by Youth Outreach Team comprising six Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) students undergoing their Discovery Year, supervised by Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa.