Raising awareness on mental health

By Aisyah Karina

GOMBAK, 10 October 2019: A talk entitled “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” which highlighted the necessity of mental health awareness, was conducted at the Experimental Hall, IIUM on Tuesday (8 October).

Organised by the Secretariat of Psychology (PSYCSTA), this event was held in conjunction with IIUM World Mental Health Week 2019 (WMHW).

In the opening speech, the master of ceremony highlighted that “Today, one in every four people in the world will be affected by mental health in their life which shows that this is becoming a serious issue that must be prevented.”

The topic was presented by Miss Pamilia Lourdunathan, a clinical psychologist from IIUM who emphasized on the importance of opening up and seeking for help whenever someone is faced with problems.

She stated that not feeling okay does not indicate abnormality as everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. However, those who are feeling down for two consecutive weeks may have depressive symptoms.

Symptoms of depression

Miss Pamilia revealed that a person who suffers from depression may be identified through lack of sleep, skipping meals or excessive weight gain. They might also be surrounded with thoughts of worthlessness, excessive guilt and having suicidal ideation.

She added that other signs of depression are extreme fatigue and disliking the activities they used to enjoy doing. This disorder could be influenced by genetics or social factors such as having a traumatic experience from the past.

Seeking help

Miss Pamilia also said in her speech that, “Everyone has their excessive baggage, stories, that make us react in certain ways which take time to heal.”

She claimed that the most crucial thing when facing depression is that we must discover the root cause of our problems and share it with someone whom we trust.

“We should never have to go through it alone. Start by forgiving yourself and the one who has hurt you as it is for our sake.”

She further stated that help must always be given to those who suffer from mental health.

“It is important for us to acknowledge their feelings and empathise with what they are facing.

 We should offer support and motivational words that can boost their spirit to enjoy life,” said Miss Pamilia at the end of her speech.

At the end of the event, a heart-to-heart session was held for the audience to share their feelings regarding the problems they faced.

The event had raised awareness on mental health issues and ways to overcome it with the hope of leading a more meaningful life.***

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