Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s National Mental Health Commission, Commissioner Christine Morgan, said her visit to Brunei’s Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Mental Health Unit provided an opportunity to continue the dialogue with Brunei Darussalam, to understand, discuss, and respond to the mental health and well-being needs of the citizens of both countries.
After touring the facilities, she proceeded to Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital’s Talian Harapan helpline Operator’s Room.
The commissioner is in Brunei Darussalam to further strenghten Australia-Brunei cooperation on mental health.
She was joined by senior official at Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Fellows, and Australia’s High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Luke Arnold.
Morgan’s visit entailed a dialogue session with Bruneian mental health practitioners, including Head of Psychiatric Services Dr Hilda Ho, Head of Psychiatric Nursing Matron Hajah Radiah Omar, and staff working on psychiatric nursing, medical social work, and occupational therapy. Dr Ho noted that mental health awareness has been growing in Brunei, thanks to the work done by the MoH, government agencies, community groups and non-government organisations who have championed education, access to support and development of services.
The high commissioner noted that the visit builds on the excellent mental health cooperation established during Brunei’s ASEAN Chair in 2021.
“Spurred by strong leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof, Australia is keen to continue cooperating to strengthen ASEAN’s practical measures in support of mental health in the region,” he said.