It is crucial for people, especially parents, to recognise the mental health challenges faced by youths today.
Yayasan Hasanah, a foundation that promotes sustainability through empowerment, addressed this issue with a panel discussion as part of its Ilmu Hasanah initiative.
Held to mark Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the event aimed to raise awareness of the inadequacy of mental health interventions in Malaysia’s education sector and the need to improve support for students.
Foundation managing director and trustee Datuk Shahira Ahmed Bazari said mental health issues often begin at an early age.
“We hope to explore potential solutions and strategies for addressing mental health challenges.
“Youths are vulnerable and it is important for parents and society as a whole to understand their emotional experiences and struggles,” she said at the event held at the foundation’s office in Dataran PHB Saujana Resort, Shah Alam, Selangor.
The panellists were National Centre of Excellence for Mental Health head Dr Nurashikin Ibrahim, International Islamic University Malaysia Kulliyyah of Nursing associate professor Dr Siti Roshaidai, Soara Industries special projects director Farzena Balan and Mental Health Aid Association co-founder and director Farihin Ufiya.
The discussion was moderated by Ethan Ganes, a Master’s of Professional Counselling student from Monash University.
Dr Siti cited the lack of awareness among parents regarding mental health.
“We believe that focusing on parents is crucial because children have limited resources and opportunities to take care of their own mental health.
“It is important to educate and raise awareness among parents on the well-being of children.
“While we acknowledge that there are other societal factors impacting mental health, the reluctance of parents to understand the issue and the fear children have about discussing it with their parents contribute to the problem,” she said.
Also present were representatives from non-governmental organisations as well as the Education and Health ministries.