As a mental health platform, our duty is to always raise awareness and break the stigmatisation of mental health. True – the Green Ribbon Group is not made up of mental health professionals and we do not offer services. Nonetheless we feel this sets us apart in the sense that we are ordinary folks who are working to deconstruct and understand mental health better.
In 2021, we collaborated with the Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) in response to the mental health crisis that Malaysia faced at the time, given the spike in Covid-19 cases and the lockdowns we experienced. All initiatives were fully sponsored by the Green Ribbon Group. We hope our support created a domino effect whereby the skills that participants learnt in these programmes have trickled down into their communities.
The collaboration and data collected from the initiatives were presented at the 23rd World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) Congress in June 2022. The Green Ribbon Group was part of the first Malaysian delegation to attend the WFMH Congress, led by our Founder and President YAM Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan, whose Patronage of the Congress was the first for an Asian representative. For more information on our maiden visit to the UK, please download our Report.
Mental Health First Aid
Supported 100 Mental Health First Aid training sessions at RM600 per individual to equip participants with skills to identify and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use. These individuals were split into two factions – 18-25 years old, and 26 years old and above. Participants had to pass an examination at the end in order to be an accredited First Aider for three years.
Testimonials by Mental Health First Aid participants
Out of 100 participants…
Moving forward, we would like to further expand and localise this course to fit our cultures and customs here at home. We would also like to target specific demographics. For instance, initial data point to a low take-up rate amongst men – something for us to consider when we re-implement the MHFA for future cohorts. School counsellors and teachers are another target demographic, as well as employers and employees.
A Conversation on Suicide
Supported 25 training sessions at RM400 per session to raise awareness on suicide prevention and provide support to those who need it the most. This was initiated by the Green Ribbon Group in response to the rising cases of suicides in 2021.
Testimonials by A Conversation on Suicide participants
Out of 25 sessions…
Data from Mental Health First Aid and A Conversation on Suicide refutes the assertion that the older generation do not believe in mental health and/or are not interested in learning more about mental health.
A Conversation: The Series is the next step to deep-dive into other issues and still maintain the similar model of a one-off, two-hour session. For example, we would like to design a similar programme for high schools with a focus on self-harm i.e. ‘A Conversation on Self-Harm’. There is also a need to train more people who are fluent in Mandarin and Tamil to further penetrate into different communities.
Psychotherapy / Counselling
Supported 200 sessions at RM50 each for anyone in need with an unlimited quota per person. These sessions were conducted from 1 July 2021 until 7 December 2021. The helpline wasn’t in response to crises, but for therapy and/or counselling services. A few sessions were in-person therapy for persons in distress.
Out of 200 participants…
Sponsoring more sessions would not only result in more data, but it would also directly address a pressing need at the moment i.e. assisting current helplines that are overburdened. Moving forward, we could explore a 1-800-GRG helpline as well as a text messaging service.
Caregiver-led Support Groups
Supported translation and printing of two Caregiver Education Programme manuals – for participants and facilitators – at RM30,000 in total.
Caregivers are often forgotten in the context of mental healthcare. We overlook them without even realising it.
We would like to push the message that one cannot pour from an empty cup. Caregivers must also be equipped with the right skills so they are better able to support both themselves and their loved one/s with lived experience.
We have plans with MMHA to set up a Caregiver-led Support Group in each state, and have all members undergo the education programme with support from the Ministry of Health.