Stop the Stigma : Let’s Talk Compiled and edited by Gunaprasath Bupalan (YouTube – Emjay Communications / / /   With mental health now at the forefront, the Rotary Club of Klang Valley (RCKV) marked yet another milestone on 10th October in initiating the inaugural Mental Wellbeing live webinar in conjunction with World Mental Day 2020. The webinar received some 200 registered participants from Malaysia and beyond. The  timely 2020 theme of Mental Health for all: Greater Investment-Greater Access  is a clear indication and impetus of greater investment and access to  mental health for everyone, anyone and everywhere! Themed: ‘Stop the Stigma, Let’s Talk’, the inspiring webinar was represented by eminent speakers –  Associate Prof Dr Amer Siddiq, Psychiatrist, University Malaya Specialist Centre; Victor Tan, Deputy Chairman, Befrienders KL, and Eka Shereen shared her personal journey on the challenges and triumphs recovering from relentless mental health. The session was moderated by rotarian Anthony Raja.  

(from left) Prof Dr Amer, Eka Shereen and moderator rotarian Anthony Raja.

‘The rising concern over mental health of late is alarming. Mental disorders can be complex and takes many forms. Mental and physical health has a close correlation, and the two should not be thought of separately. A holistic approach to address both concerns will be significantly helpful to the individual, family and caregivers. As the nation moves towards the ‘new normal’, RCKV plans to engage and sustain practical initiatives with stakeholders on mental healthcare programs to help those in need. ’ said RCKV President John Beardsley. Studies in 2017 by Our World in Data estimate that 792 million people lived with a mental health disorder, slightly more than one in ten people globally (10.7%), placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. “Mental health is everyone’s business. The general perception of mental illness may have improved over the years, but unfortunately the topic still remains a stigma. Concrete and realistic steps must be taken for improving mental health in the community and workplace, and priority must be given to address challenges and barriers to mental healthcare. With many awareness programs organized nationwide, we must ensure ‘the call to action’ is not ignored. Positive results should be seen, and that gives a sense of achievement and satisfaction”, shared Shanthi Thiruchelvam organizing chair and community services director.  

The Speakers and Organizing Team.

The interactive conversation unfolded many interesting aspects to mental health and wellbeing. Topics included: No health without Mental Health, Tell Another: Mindful Listening, Managing Addiction and Suicide – A Personal Journey,  Courage to live with Uncertainty and Q & A session. As a responsible and caring society, we must embrace a culture of inclusiveness and mindfulness to end mental health ‘stigma’ – time to change and accept the conversation openly.   -end-


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