Aug 1 2021

In light of the World Mental Health Day on 10 October, RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC) Student Affairs Department (initiated) by RUMC Counselling is collaborating with Penang Youth Development Corporation (PYDC), RUMC Student Association (RUMCSA), Peer-Assisted Learning Society (PALS), RUMC Community Outreach Society (COS), D’Home, Zest Connection and Pertubuhan Wanita Mutiara Pulau Pinang to conduct a month-long Mental Health activities.

Considering the importance of having a stable mind amidst the uncertainties due to the pandemic, the theme for this year’s celebration focuses on “Eunoia” – which is Greek for “a well mind” or “beautiful thinking”.

The virtual launch and press conference to kickstart the campaign was held on September 14, 2021 at 12.00pm via Zoom and officiated by YB Soon Lip Chee, Penang State EXO of Youth and Sports. The launch ceremony was also joined by Professor David Whitford, President & CEO of RUMC, Professor Dr Premnath Nagalingam, Dean of RUMC, Yang Berbahagia Mdm Tan Lean Kee, President of Pertubuhan Wanita Mutiara Pulau Pinang, Dr. Gwee Sai Ling, General Manager of Penang Youth Development Corporation, and Dato Seri Leslie Lee, President of D’Home.

“With the rising number of mental illness reports received by the Malaysian Health Association and many other organisations, mental health problems among youth caused by the pandemic became one of the hot topics discussed in the recent Penang State Assembly,” said YB Soon Lip Chee.

“This Mental Health Month is another effort under the initiative of Penang Youth Resilience Superstars (jointly organised by PYDC and Pertubuhan Wanita Mutiara Pulau Pinang) to overcome the issue of mental health,” he added.
Professor Whitford, in his short remark, also addressed his concern about the stigma that revolves around the topic of mental health among adults, teenagers and children.

“I trust this initiative will serve to highlight the needs of those with mental health conditions and assist to reduce the associated stigma,” he further shared.

The session also had Dato Seri Leslie Lee, President of D’Home sharing about the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of many individuals around the world.

“Some individuals are at high risk for mental health problems including depression, especially when in a state of extreme stress and isolation from the support network of family and friends. If this depression fails to be identified and treated properly, it will increase the risk of suicidal behaviour,” expressed Datuk Seri Leslie.
RUMC Mental Health Month 2021 is all set to commence with a range of activities planned from 1st till 31st October.
“On the 1st of October, we will be launching two competitions simultaneously that will take place throughout mental health month. All competitions will be via our social platform (Instagram) and are open to ALL students studying in Penang from ages 15-35,” shared Sheena Siva Subramaniam, President of RUMCSA.

RUMC Mental Health Month 2021 also echoes the World Health Organisation’s campaign slogan for this year – ‘Mental health care for all: Let’s make it a reality’. This year, the awareness campaign has been opened to the whole of Penang and aims to better shed light on the importance of mental health, as well as to destigmatize this topic as best as possible.

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