Connecting the Dots between Mental Illness, the Dysfunctional Family and the Tokenistic representation of authorities

By Nur Hakeemah Sakinah

The topic of mental health is nothing alien in today’s context, and it has been discussed from diverse angles and multiple different insights. In the atmosphere of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and speaking from the lens of an ordinary student, it has been witnessed how most clubs, societies and Mahallahs are pointing out the seriousness of mental health. 

For example, Mahallah Sumayyah IIUM in collaboration with the Counseling and Career Services Centre (CCSC) of the IIUM have organized a workshop of 6 series every month from June until November to discuss on specific mental illnesses such as depression, panic disorder, OCD, ADHD and PTSD.

Speaking about mental health, its causes are due to various factors such as biological, environmental and psychological factors. We have heard a lot about how a dysfunctional family can maim one’s mental health. However, it is important to address critically how the dysfunctional family is formed. Financial distress is one of the renowned factors to shed light on. Researchers have acknowledged the relationship between poverty and mental illness in which it has been proven that people who grow up in poverty are likely to develop mental health issues.

Poverty is a systemic failure rather than personal laziness to work harder. Hence, the authorities should make a policy that will address and resolve poverty if they are serious about advocating for the betterment of mental health. It would be such a tokenistic development if certain bodies are involved in mental health campaigns but at the same time, they are not addressing the main causes of mental illnesses.

Instead of constantly persuading people with mental illness to stay strong by quoting some random tumblr posts from 2010, it is believed the right thing to do is to demand accountability and competency from the authorities to fix the system so that being mentally healthy is not an exclusive right but an inclusive right. ***

(Nur Hakimah Sakeenah Binti Mohd Zaini is a student from Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, IIUM. The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of IIUMToday).

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