Fighting stigma against mental health in Malaysia
SOLS Health is a community-based mental health center that connects children, adults, families, and communities to accessible and affordable mental health services. The organization believes that mental health is one of the most critical determinants to physical health, personal wellness, and good quality of life. However, the existing cultural stigmas surrounding mental health, mainly based on ignorance and discrimination, cause many individuals to suffer in silence.
SOLS Health is rapidly changing this conversation through community events, awareness programs, and easy accessibility to psychologists so people in need of care are always supported. To date, SOLS Health has changed the lives of over 550 people through their direct therapy services. They have also hosted over 600 community events to spread awareness on mental health-related issues.
In several parts of Asia, including Malaysia, mental health and related issues still continue to face societal stigma. That said, mental health disorders are on a steady rise and data suggests that 1 in 3 Malaysians suffer from mental health issues.
Why It Matters:
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected physical health but has also severely impacted mental health globally. With social isolation and several impending uncertainties, many Malaysians have reported increased experiences of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. This number has only continued to increase with each passing day.
While there is a shift in conversation with more individuals speaking up about mental health issues due to the pandemic, there are still so many silent sufferers. Individuals either do not realize that they have a mental health issue or refuse to seek help with fear of facing discrimination from family and friends. Supporting SOLS Health enables the organization to continue its mission to make community healthcare accessible and reach out to high-risk communities like indigenous tribes and low-income groups to continue the conversation around mental health.
“Individuals who report mental health issues need our support, not our discrimination. If you know of anyone suffering from mental health issues, do extend a helping hand in their direction.” – Nafisa Dahodwala, Account Manager, LEWIS APAC.