First Lady Fazna Ahmed has attended the closing ceremony of Mental Health and Young People; One Day Mental Health Awareness Workshop for Educators organized by the Mental Health Awareness Foundation (MHAF). The event was held this evening at the conference hall of Shine Tree Building.
Speaking at the event, the First Lady stated that initiatives and workshops such as these are essential not just in promoting mental health awareness but also to help decrease the stigma associated with mental illness.
She stated the need to create a culture where we can discuss mental health similar to how we discuss physical health, as this would help us accept the importance of mental wellness and seek treatment for any concerns without hesitation.
Moreover, First Lady Fazna Ahmed stated that the current World Mental Health Day theme, Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World, is especially relevant to this workshop. She noted that adolescence and early adulthood are a time of significant changes for many young people and that this is when school-based mental health services become crucial. Furthermore, she stated that educators have to play multiple roles when it comes to their students and that it is important to not just focus on academic goals but also to understand that a mentally healthy student is imperative for success - both academically and otherwise.
Educators play an essential role in a young person’s life and the school support system is strengthened through collaboration with the wider family and community. It provides an immeasurable source of strength for those struggling with mental health issues.
The aim of the Mental Health Awareness Foundation includes improving mental health awareness in the Maldives using multiple platforms, including social media, to work towards decreasing and eventually eliminating the stigma associated with mental disorders. The MHAF also advocates for people with mental health disorders and has been conducting several mental health awareness workshops.
The presidential pledges also include working on providing treatment plans with full support for mental health patients. Accordingly, the administration has previously inaugurated the Maldives’ National Mental Health Institute as part of the government's 'First 100 days’ pledges. The administration also expanded Aasandha coverage to include treatment and medicine for mental health patients.