By Danial Yusof
GOMBAK, 18 August 2020: Mental health is not a new issue, but the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed IIUM to be more aware of the mental health of IIUM community especially amongst the students, some of whom have been confined in IIUM campus for months during the movement control order (MCO) period, Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak said.
The Rector was commenting on a workshop on Mental Health Initiatives among IIUM Community organised by IIUM Mental Health Strategic Planning Special Task Force and held at Multipurpose Hall, IIUM SHAS Mosque, here yesterday (17 August).
“It is now an opportunity for us to really look at it in a very systematic way to build a platform, so that the students who study in IIUM are not only protected in terms of physical health but also social and mental health.”
He said that the initiatives taken might be new to IIUM community but with enough expertise within the university, the objective of the programme can be achieved and it will become part and parcel on how the university manages its staff and students.
“Today we gather the experts and those who are interested in sharing their knowledge and expertise and how to put this in a form that will benefit the students and the staff and even the community around us. Thus, meeting the objective of rahmatan lil alamin,” the Rector added.
According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lihanna Borhan, the Chairperson of the Special Task Force who is also the Director of KCA, the special task force which was established recently with the aim to consolidate knowledge and expertise, and provide a unified framework on mental health issues among IIUM community.
“The mental health task force will also look at ways to move forward and from there we will push this as something that the university can contribute, not only to members of the community, but also to everyone regardless of religious background and ethnicity,” she said.
“We do have big plans and we are very happy for the commitment shown by the people who are here today, considering the time constraints. However, all of us are geared to work together for the betterment of IIUM residents,” she highlighted.
Meanwhile, Prof. Emeritus Dr. M. Kamal Hasan shared his thoughts on good mental health from Islamic perspective. He indicated a person with a good mental health will give result to ‘insan sejahtera’.
He added that mental health is not just dealing with faith but also on how a person can cope with attempts of evil spirits in becoming a better person. The initiatives pursued by IIUM should take into account the objective of regaining one’s spiritual health.***