KLANG: Malaysia’s advocacy work in mental healthcare has received a boost with the appointment of Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s eldest daughter as the international patron of the World Mental Health Day 2020.
Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al Sultan Abdullah’s appointment was recommended by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and acknowledged by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) president Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj said the appointment was a great honour for the nation.
"Tengku Iman’s appointment is an honour for Malaysia and also a recognition of mental health advocacy work done by her in her personal capacity and also by the numerous organisations in the country, ’’ said Dr Mohanraj.
He added that the recognition accorded to Tengku Imam would also spur a multi-sectoral approach towards mental health awareness, accessibility and protection for persons with psychiatric illness here.
According to Dr Mohanraj, the princess’ appointment will also showcase the great strides Malaysia has made in the area of health service provisions, in general, and in mental health in particular.
"Our largely state-sponsored healthcare system is the envy of many in the developing world and others can learn from us as much as we can learn from them, ” said Dr Mohanraj.
He added that Tengku Iman’s appointment gives an articulate voice to the mental health sector in Malaysia.
Dr Mohanraj has also been elected to sit on the board of WFMH, representing the Asia-Pacific region.
The WFMH, which was established in London in 1948, promotes evidence-based understanding of mental health with the aim of empowering people who deliver and receive mental health services.
It also works towards the establishment of mental health services in every country in the world.
The theme for the World Mental Health Day each year is determined by the WFMH and endorsed by the United Nations.
This year’s theme is "Greater Investment, Greater Access.’’
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