Mental Health Policies for students and staff

By Nurin Najmina Zaidi

GOMBAK, 23 September 2021: To help the students and staff with mental health problems, the Ihsan IIUM Haikal li al-Sihhah al-Aqliyyah wa al-Nafsiyyah programme has come up with mental health policies for both students and staff.

The Director of Office of Knowledge for Change and Advancement, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lihanna Borhan had endorsed the two mental health policies and there will be new initiatives from the said policies.

“The idea is that it is not meant to be a competition. Neither it is going to be antagonistic to other services provided, but to be complementary and to help each other,” Dr. Lihana said.

She pointed out in her presentation that the university acknowledges that mental health is an important part of a person’s quality of life and is required for them to reach their full potential.

She also emphasised that the university is committed to fostering equal opportunity for all, eliminating all forms of unlawful discrimination, and encouraging good attitudes towards people.

Both of the policies adopted a multiple-pronged approach.

“It is not simply going to the caring services. Not only looking at staff or the students who need help. But we also would like to look nat preventive actions,” Dr. Lihanna further highlighted.

She urged the audience to have awareness not only of the people around us but also to ourselves.

“It is easier to judge things that we do not understand. And that is part of the awareness so that we can understand more about what is going on,” she said.

She explained that one of the approaches is skills training where the Counselling and Career Services Centre (CCSC) had come out with a module for lecturers to help students in the classroom.

In addition, other approaches that had been mentioned by Dr. Lihanna are spiritual assistance, managing consequences for administrators, and institutional initiative.

She clarified that the reason these policies exist is that IIUM supports the concept of Rahmantan lil alamin.

“The idea is that we’re providing assistance not punishing or ignoring people with mental health issues. At the same time, we will be looking out at the needs of the majority,” she said.

Dr. Lihanna also introduced new initiatives from both of the policies. On mental health policy for the students, the Fit-for-study committee is a way for the students to take a leave of absence in order to get help. On the mental health policy for staff, there is an employee assistance programme for the staff to get help whether to do it internally or externally.

The Hadissobah Programme was held on Wednesday (22 September) at 8.30 a.m via Zoom and YouTube.***

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