Navigating a transformative and resilient mental health system

This will be an opportunity for all attendees to come together and recognise progress in the mental healthcare system.

THE Covid-19 pandemic has not only caused public health concerns, it also shed light on social and economic inequalities, which inevitably resulted in a severe disruption of mental health services.

Therefore, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) is partnering with Hospital Permai Johor Bahru to host the 21st Johor Mental Health Convention (JMHC) 2022 from July 20 to 21, 2022.

Entitled ‘Minding Malaysia: Progressing Positively for a Resilient Tomorrow’, this convention and partnership aims to provide a greater understanding of the pandemic's influence on mental health and psychosocial determinants as well as addressing key advances in Malaysia's mental healthcare system.

The two-day virtual mental health convention will have mental health experts both national and international sharing the impact of the pandemic on mental healthcare for those with severe mental illness, while also recognising resilience, flexibility, and adaptability as cornerstones in overcoming psychosocial determinants of mental health and well-being, along with emphasising innovations in the delivery of mental healthcare services.

“It is vital that we start normalising the conversation regarding mental health, and encourage individuals to speak up and get the help they need,” said NUMed chief operating officer Premila Nair.

She added that a mental health convention, such as the JMHC virtual event, could be an excellent platform for having a conversation and contributing a substantial learning opportunity for medical professionals delivering mental health services.

The convention will be graced with an opening speech from Hospital Permai director Dr Norazam Harun and a keynote address by the Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah along with various insightful symposium sessions by a diverse range of esteemed speakers.

JMHC will also outline mental health talked across the spectrum including:

> Man Hands on Misery to Man-Trauma and Mental Health by Newcastle University, UK, clinical senior lecturer and forensic psychiatrist Dr Dominic Johnson

> Women and Covid-19 by Hospital Serdang psychiatrist Dr Umi Adzlin Silim

> Mental Health Services for the Elderly in the UK During and After the Pandemic by Sunderland Older Persons' Mental Health Services consultant psychiatrist Dr Martina Esisi

> An Update on Psychiatric Research in Malaysia: How Far Have We Progressed? by Ministry of Health Malaysia head of technical psychiatric services Dr Salina Abd. Aziz

> ICD-11 versus DSM-5: Differences and Similarities by Columbia University professor of clinical psychiatry Dr Michael B First

The convention acts as a venture for participants to discover new ways to improve access to high-quality mental health care for all patients, particularly the most vulnerable, as well as the digitisation of healthcare in the form of telemedicine or online therapy to replace in-person mental health consultations, model programmes, approaches and schemas.

For more information on event topics, speakers and to secure a front-row seat to the mental health convention, visit

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