Mental health has always been an issue that’s in dire need of attention. This was true even long before COVID-19 struck Malaysia, and it continues to remain prevalent even as we recover in the endemic phase. One of the biggest obstacles to addressing mental health in this country is the stigma surrounding it.
Sadly, many older generations and many people around us poo-poohed any mention or any idea of any mental health problems… and sometimes they makes things worse by saying that these people suffering from mental health problems are just not grateful, or you should go pray etc…
Sadly and in reality, you are likely to get more sympathy with a broken bone or getting covid 19 then telling people you have mental health issues….
In conjunction with World Mental Health Month in October, Suria KLCC together with The Body Shop invites the public to be part of the change in de-stigmatising mental health problems in their month-long campaign. The campaign with the tagline #YouMatter starts today until 10 November 2022.
Suria KLCC will once again be joining hands with the Green Ribbon Group, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that champions a community approach to mental health. Also in collaboration for this year’s campaign is MIASA (Mental Illness Awareness & Support Association).
As a lead-up to the #YouMatter campaign, artworks by youth artists with lived experiences of mental illness were showcased at the Park Mall of Suria KLCC entrance area from 3 October until 8 October 2022.
These works of passion from the National Art Gallery (via the Young Art Entrepreneurs programme) illustrate the artists’ personal struggles.
Safe Space @ Suria KLCC
Suria KLCC is the first and only mall in Malaysia to take a mental health awareness campaign to the next level via the creation of a safe space for the community. This space, dubbed the Safe Space @ Suria KLCC, is designed for people to gather and converse on the subject of mental health.
The Safe Space @ Suria KLCC last year was a hit as it drew many visitors. As mental issues do not discriminate, this year’s mental health awareness campaign promotes a more inclusive approach. #YouMatter shines a light on mental health issues afflicting the youth today and what the community can do to help support them.
The Safe Space @ Suria KLCC will be open for the duration of this campaign and can be found at Level 1, Ampang Mall. Open from 10am to 10pm daily, the space will serve as a venue for engaging activities such as workshops, talks and panel discussions by mental health professionals. Visitors can also get more information from a mental health volunteers stationed here.
“The last two years marked a turbulent and uncertain time for all. With the pandemic in the rear- view mirror, there’s no better time to reconnect and focus on recovery. Mental health awareness is a long-term CSR effort by the Suria KLCC Group and we are committed to keeping the dialogue open. We’ve engaged professionals and those with specialised expertise to help in curating the content and activities that will be held in this area.
“The Safe Space @ Suria KLCC is a welcoming space where the community can come together to share and learn. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved - we want people to leave the space feeling better and with more insight about themselves or others,” said Andrew Brien, Executive Director of Suria KLCC Sdn Bhd.
Expressing her elation to be working with Suria KLCC for a second year running, Green Ribbon Group Founder and President, YAM Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah said, “Efforts like the Safe Space must continue to not only show our support for those with mental health problems, but to also highlight our ongoing commitment towards doing more for the cause. The focus on youth mental health this year is especially timely for the Green Ribbon Group. We are very fortunate to be able to pilot programmes in secondary schools and universities that focus on mental health literacy, self-management and peer support. This has always been a dream of mine - to reach out to our youth and empower them to prioritise their mental health.”
“MIASA was where I began my advocacy and outreach. It is fantastic that we are now partners alongside Suria KLCC and The Body Shop for the Safe Space. Mental health knows no boundaries. Together we can always do more,” she added.
Founder and President of MIASA, Anita Abu Bakar said, “Looking after each other should be everyone’s responsibility and not just the health sector alone. This is why we should strive to prioritise community-based mental health support - so that the burden of care can be shifted from being shouldered solely by our incredible frontliners to being shouldered by all of us. Through efforts like this, it is our sincere hope that the scale of our response to the issues surrounding community mental health can begin to match the scale of the challenge itself.
“This collaboration with the Safe Space sets an example of how collective effort can create a big impact and spur action in the community. MIASA is honoured to be part of this initiative and would like to welcome everyone, especially the youth, to enjoy this space.”
Managing Director of The Body Shop Malaysia, Datin Mina Cheah said, “"At The Body Shop, we believe that the voices of our youth matter and they should be seen and be heard. As we step into World Mental Health month, it is important to create awareness about mental health and well- being, especially for young people. Setting up this Safe Space alongside Suria KLCC, MIASA and Green Ribbon Group is our way of advocating for our youth through promoting and protecting the value of mental health. Young people with their youthful energy and ideals are the change the world needs today. Thus, overcoming stigma, building resilience and empowering their self- esteem is truly a community effort to ensure we help them reach their potential as the changemakers of today and tomorrow.”
In addition, Suria KLCC has pledged to support NGOs championing mental health through monetary support from the sales of the Suria Ribbon Pin during festive campaigns. So far, a fund of over RM20,000 has been raised and donated to mental health-related NGOs, such as Befrienders KL and the Malaysian Mental Health Association. This is an on-going initiative and the Suria Ribbon Pin can be purchased from the Concierge at RM10 per pin.
About the Green Ribbon Group
The Green Ribbon Group is passionate about contributing towards an empathetic, world-class community approach to mental health in Malaysia. It aims to empower stakeholders involved in raising mental health awareness through advocacy, fundraising and collaboration. It was set up by YAM Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah and Puteri Nor Ariane Yasmin in January 2021 during YAM Tengku Puteri’s tenure as International Patron of World Mental Health Day 2020-2021. YAM Tengku Puteri began advocating for mental health issues three years ago. See more at www.greenribbongroup.com
Mental Illness Awareness & Support Association (MIASA)', or Persatuan Kesedaran dan Sokongan Penyakit Mental – is a Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support NGO. It was founded by Puan Anita Abu Bakar, a person with lived experience in September 2017. MIASA strives to continuously develop, expand and strengthen community-based support services for peers and caregivers and advocate for their rights and dignity. Ultimately MIASA's goal is to reduce stigma, end discrimination, injustices and human rights abuses as well as violations. To-date, MIASA has 130 crisis team members, 1309 volunteers and 695 members across the nation and have helped more than 100,000 people from August 2020. Visit www.miasa.org.my
About The Body Shop
The Body Shop is a global brand and certified B Corp™️ founded by Anita Roddick in Brighton, England in 1976. Anita pioneered the philosophy that entrepreneurship can be a positive force in the world, which is still the brand’s driving force. The Body Shop strives to provide ethical and sustainable products with ingredients of natural origin for body care, skin care, hair care and makeup. Today there are more than 3,000 The Body Shop stores in over 70 countries. The Body Shop is part of Natura, Aesop and Avon in Natura &Co – a values-driven, global cosmetics group with the common goal of creating a positive economic, social and environmental impact.
About Suria KLCC Sdn Bhd
Suria KLCC Sdn Bhd is a joint venture company owned by KLCC Property Holdings Berhad (60%) and CBRE Global Investors (40%). It is a world class retail asset management group specialising in the development and operation of shopping malls in Malaysia. Its current portfolio includes Suria KLCC, Alamanda Shopping Centre and Mesra Mall. With more than 550 specialty outlets and over 2 million square feet of combined retail space, the company offers local and international retailers a doorway to some of the most discerning shoppers in Malaysia. Visit www.suriaklcc.com.my and www.facebook.com/SuriaKLCCMall for more details.