First Lady Fazna Ahmed, on Wednesday, attended the closing ceremony of Mental Health and Young People, a one-day mental health awareness workshop for educators organised by the Mental Health Awareness Foundation (MHAF).
The First Lady stated that such initiatives and workshops are essential not just in promoting mental health awareness, but also to help eliminate stigma associated with mental illness.
She emphasised the need to create a culture where we can discuss mental health as we discuss physical health, to help accept the importance of mental wellness and seek treatment for any concerns without hesitation.
According to the first lady, this year's World Mental Health Day theme, 'Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World' is especially relevant to this workshop. She noted that school-based mental health services are most crucial during adolescence and early adulthood. Therefore, educators have to play multiple roles when it comes to their students as they must understand that in addition to academic goals, a mentally healthy student is imperative for success.
Educators play an essential role in a young person’s life and the school system is strengthened through collaboration with the wider family and community. This provides an immeasurable source of strength for those struggling with metal health issues.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s presidential pledges include working on providing treatment plans with full support for mental health patients. The administration previously inaugurated the Maldives’ National Mental Health Institute as part of the government’s ‘First 100 Days’ pledges and expanded Aasandha coverage to include treatment and medicine for mental health patients.
Aasandha is the national healthcare insurance scheme of Maldives developed to provide free medical assistance to all Maldivian citizens.
The aim of MHAF is to improve mental health awareness in Maldives using multiple platforms, including social media, to work towards decreasing and eventually eliminating the stigma associated with mental disorders. They also advocate for people with mental health disorders and have conducted several mental health awareness workshops.