Communicate effectively with those having disorders, webinar told

By Hazimah Sukri

GOMBAK, 15 December 2020: Mental illness is common nowadays, but how do we effectively communicate with those having disorders?

A two-day webinar on how to communicate with people with mental health problems especially those suffering from psychotic disorder, anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder, was held last Saturday and Sunday (12 and 13 December).

The webinar was organised in conjunction with the “World Mental Health Day 2020” by Malaysia Mental Care Association (MeCare) in collaboration with a few other organisations and participated by nine panelists.

Mr. Mohd Akif Farhan who is a lecturer and a clinical psychologist said that to help those who have mental health issues “we must first understand ourselves such as knowing our attention span, our current mood and how we think before being a listener.”

Next, he said “we must know that our job is not to solve the problem or heal them.” Instead he added, “We are supposed to be there for them and show that we care and love them despite whatever state they’re in.”

“It is also our duty to guide and support them to get help from a professional as that is one of the ways to solve the problem.”

Organisational psychologist, Dr. Alizi Alias reminded that we should not inculcate ‘toxic positivity’ in our daily life.  

“We should not force people to always stay positive because being in a negative state is a bad thing whereby we need to understand that it is okay for us to be sad or negative once in a while,” he said.

He highlighted five basic emotions – joy, fear, disgust, anger and sadness – which are all important and should be acknowledged by everyone. “If we harboured these emotions for too long, it is best for us to seek help,” he said.

Lecturer and psychiatrist Dr. Rozanizam, Assist. Professor and clinical psychologist Dr. Jamilah Hanum and psychiatrist Dr. Ahmad Rostam discussed how to identify someone with psychotic disorder, anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder.

They emphasised that we should not be afraid to seek help because maintaining good mental health is important as well.

As shown by the couple, Mrs. Nur Jehaada and Mr. Nazrin Faris, it is possible for us to live with someone who have mental illness, where she shared her experience living with her husband who have schizoaffective disorder.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Nazia Suhaimi and Dr. Farid Zainuddin proved to the audience that there are fighters and survivors of mental illness out there, hence, she felt we should never discriminate them. 

This programme was supposed to be held earlier on 17 October but was postponed to 12 and 13 December due to COVID-19.

The webinar, conducted live on Zoom, was attended by almost 200 participants. ***

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *