Monday, April 22, 2024
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Brunei Town

Rethinking mental health

A new project focusing on destigmatising mental health issues is kicking off this month, run by the Global Shapers Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) hub.

The Rethink Mental Health project, which received funding from Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative’s (YSEALI) Seeds for the Future programme, seeks to provide mental health resources to the public through workshops and support group sessions.

The sessions will be led by mental health professionals in Brunei and are offered free-of-charge.

“The idea is for people to start reaching out to mental health professionals while we attempt to destigmatise the issue,” said a representative of Global Shapers BSB Hazirah Zainuddin.

She hoped that through their events, they would be able to educate people in finding resources, identifying who they can reach out to and learn skills to cope with mental health challenges.

She added that the Global Shapers BSB hub has a focus on addressing unemployment in the country, and their mental health project will also tie-in with that issue.

Hazirah Zainuddin with her fellow Global Shapers BSB Hub members in front of the United States Embassy in Brunei Darussalam after receiving a grant for their project. PHOTO: HAZIRAH ZAINUDDIN

“Our projects for this is mostly related to stresses caused by unemployment, like anxiety among young people struggling to land a job, financial issues and family pressure,” she explained.

The project is part of the organisation’s drive to address social welfare issues.

Previously, the organisation carried out online forums and posting videos of special needs adults with regular jobs and performing day-to-day activities.

The team also helped out the community during the COVID-19 pandemic with their ‘Nasi Pusu Initiative’, having managed to raise just below BND12,000, along with other contributions, in support of frontliners and volunteers.

At the emergence of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, the group conducted online workshops to help participants adapt to the new normal and overcome challenges surrounding mental health and misinformation.

And in their project named ‘Skills for the Future’, the group aimed to equip youth in Brunei with the skills needed to face the job prospects of an unexpected future.

It focused on providing resources, networking opportunities, and mentorship to students and young professionals entering the field of mental health. – Rizal Faisal