A study in 2015 by the Ministry of Health showed that 30% of Malaysians are afflicted with a mental health condition. This alarming figure is 3 times more than what it was back in 1996.
It doesn’t help that most of us have a habit of sweeping matters like mental health under the rug because it’s just easier to ignore something we don’t understand. And it certainly doesn’t help when those living with mental health conditions often feel embarrassed to speak up as they might risk getting ostracised by loved ones, friends and even employers once they start speaking on their mental health history.
A lot of people think mental illness is something one chooses to have rather than something we’re afflicted with. It’s easy to see how that is as we can’t see mental illness and patients of mental illness generally look like they’re fine when they’re not. And as mental health conditions become one of Malaysia’s many elephants in the room, you can bet that we’re all aboard the #TeamNotAshamedMY train when we saw it making rounds online.
The #TeamNotAshamedMY movement started off as a collaboration between Minda and Relate Therapy Malaysia as a way to stand up against the stigma and unite for mental health. And so far, the response from those living with and without mental illness have been overwhelming and endearing.
Many people with mental health conditions are told that they need to get over it, to just stop being depressed or to not get anxious over silly things. They are told that people with mental health conditions are unstable and dangerous. This leads to them hiding their illnesses, treatments and pretending that they’re doing fine when they’re really not. Some won’t even seek treatment at all.
So let’s stand for mental health wellness and remind everyone that mental illness is not a weakness, and it’s definitely nothing to be ashamed of! Best of all, you don’t need to have a mental illness to participate.
Here’s how you can be a part of #TeamNotAshamedMY :
Step 1: Take a picture of you holding up a sign that says #ImNotAshamed
Step 2: Tweet, Facebook or Instagram your pictures with the hashtags #TeamNotAshamedMY and #ImNotAshamed.
Step 3: Tag @mindakami, @relatemalaysia and @teamnotashamedmy on your posts!
Team Lipstiq is all for #TeamNotAshamedMY, and it’s about time that you join the team too. 🙂
P.S.: You can share your mental health condition if you want, or not. It’s really up to you. And you can do it in any language you’re comfortable with because what’s Malaysia without our diverse cultures and languages, right? #MalaysiaBoleh <3