First Lady Fazna Ahmed has participated in a webinar initiated by the Maldives Red Crescent (MRC) to celebrate World Mental Health Day 2020. In her remarks, she asserted that we need to invest our time, energy, and convictions for meaningful reform and progress towards mental wellness. She emphasized that strengthening mental welfare services, especially following a health crisis such as Covid-19, requires a consolidated social effort in addition to financial investment.

The First Lady also noted that Covid-19 has seen a significant increase in the need for psychosocial support demonstrating how important mental wellness is for societal welfare. She stressed that precautionary measures for curbing Covid-19 should ideally go hand in hand with psychosocial measures for maximum impact.

In her remarks, she acknowledged the Mental Health Assistance Cluster formed in NEOC as part of the Covid-19 response and commended the Administration for their policies to promote nationwide mental welfare. She expressed her hope to see those reforms come to fruition at the earliest, and called on policymakers to listen to the opinions of mental wellness patients while reforming policies related to mental welfare. She further stated that these policies would promote a society with a strict ethical code for professionals who provide mental healthcare services.

Concluding her remarks, the First Lady also shed light on the importance of getting professional healthcare as soon as one notices that they are in emotional distress or mentally unwell. She highlighted the importance of early detection and treatment in the management of mental health diagnosis.

Other panelists at the webinar included: Secretary-General of the MRC, Fathimath Himya; Program Specialist at UNICEF, Shahula Ahmed; Undersecretary at the President’s Office, Dr Abdul Malik; Head of Mental Health at IGMH, Dr Shanooha Mansoor; and Director at the HPA, Aiminath Shahuza.