KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Property Bhd and Yayasan Sime Darby have launched a five-month-long mental health awareness campaign targeting children, youth and members of the public.
The Great Minds Campaign, which will be organised in collaboration with the Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association (MIASA) and Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA), aims to focus on three critical areas namely raising awareness, educating society on early identification of mental health issues and engaging stakeholders on how to care for their mental health.
The awareness initiative will be a two-part campaign. Part 1 will entail five forums, 10 mental health workshops and five exhibitions by MMHA and MIASA, while Part 2 is a one-day Great Minds Ride Campaign cycling event planned to be held on Oct 12.
According to Yayasan Sime Darby, it has committed a total of RM500,000 for the campaign. Additional funds will also be raised from other sponsors and from the Great Minds Ride Campaign.
Sime Darby Property acting group CEO Datuk Wan Hashimi Albakri said that the campaign is a result of the rising concern over mental health in Malaysia, especially among the youth.
“Sime Darby Property believes that mental health issues should not be a topic of discussion only when a tragic story hits the papers, but a national conversation now. This conversation should then lead to research, plans and actions taken to reach out and help those who are in need of help,” he said during the launch ceremony yesterday.
Quoting statistics from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017, Wan Hashimi pointed out that 29% of adolescents in the country are suffering from depression and anxiety disorder compared with 12% in 2011.
Meanwhile, Yayasan Sime Darby CEO Yatela Zainal Abidin said mental illness is expected to be the second biggest health problem affecting Malaysians after heart disease by 2020.
“Therefore, Yayasan Sime Darby is excited to collaborate with Sime Darby Property to spread awareness about mental health and the issues surrounding it, through workshops and forums to be held with various target groups such as school children, university students and corporate employees, while also encouraging improvement in mental health through a sporty lifestyle by taking up a sporty interest such as cycling,” she said.
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