Kuala Lumpur, 11 October 2022 – Mental health has long been a problem that requires urgent attention. This was true long before COVID-19 hit Malaysia, and it remains true even as we recover in the endemic phase. One of the most significant barriers to addressing mental health in this country is the stigma associated with it.
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.
Following the success of last year’s mental health awareness campaign, 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.