Activities to promote mental health among youths

The virtual launching of the mental health programme by RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus Students Association (RUMCSA) throughout October.

IN conjunction with World Mental Health Day that falls on Oct 10, various programmes and competitions to promote mental health in youths will be held for the whole month of October.

Themed ‘Eunoia’, the mental health month is organised by RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus Students Association (RUMCSA) in collaboration with RUMC Counselling Department, RUMC Community Outreach Society, Penang Youth Development Corporation (PYDC), Peer-Assisted Learning Society (PALS) by RUMC, D’Home Mental Health Association, Zest Connection and Pertubuhan Wanita Mutiara Pulau Pinang.

RUMCSA president Sheena Siva Subramaniam said the purpose of the mental health month initiative was to encourage discussions and participation on how to better advocate for mental health issues in this day and age.

She said activities such as suicide prevention talks, yoga and sharing sessions would be held via Facebook Live and Zoom meetings from Oct 1 to 31.

She said the first day of the mental health month would commence with two competitions held simultaneously by the RUMCSA committee.

“The first is a video competition, which is centred around the theme of the sign-off ‘Love, me’. Students will be required to submit a one-minute video where they re-enact self-care habits that they wish to cultivate for themselves.

“The second is our writing competition themed ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’, which will be launched simultaneously. Students can submit any form of creative writing with a maximum word count of 100 words.

A poster of the Mental Health Month event themed, ‘Eunoia’.A poster of the Mental Health Month event themed, ‘Eunoia’.

“Both competitions are open to all students studying in Penang, aged between 15 and 35,” she said in a press conference via Zoom recently, adding that further details on the competitions would be posted on RUMCSA’s Instagram page.

Sheena also said there would be weekly themes, where the first week’s theme is ‘Nourish to flourish’, which is essentially dedicated to self-care and its importance.

“The second week’s theme would be ‘Man in the mirror’, where the main focus is on mental health awareness within our youth committee, while the third week’s theme, ‘You are not alone’ focuses on tips on tackling online learning and adapting to the new normal as a consequence of the pandemic.”

The fourth week’s theme would be on ‘Fighters against warriors’ as the programme highlights on resetting mindsets as they navigate through this digital era and body dysmorphia, diet trends and fads, unhealthy comparisons and confidence issues.

D’Home Mental Health Association chairman Datuk Dr Leslie Lee, who was present, said suicide was among the top 10 causes of death in the world, and the fourth leading cause of death for those aged 15 to 29 years old.

Also present were RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus president and chief executive officer Prof David L. Whitford, PYDC general manager Dr Gwee Sai Ling and Penang youth and sports committee chairman Soon Lip Chee.

Information on the event’s panel speakers will be posted on RUMCSA’s Instagram page.

For enquiries, call PYDC at 012-401 0186 or check its Facebook page for updates.

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