Every year in October, the world is abuzz with activities, events, and people speaking out or sharing stories regarding mental health. Why? Because 10th October is widely recognised as World Mental Health Day. And prior to that, 10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day.
This makes September and October the ‘blockbuster’ months for anyone involved in mental health.
With that in mind, SOLS Health decided to partner with Symphony Learning Solutions to organise a month-long virtual festival ‘Go Slow to Go Fast: Mental Well-being Tools for You’ between 5th September and 10th October 2020. This festival aimed to create awareness on mental health, and impart tangible knowledge and practical tools that would benefit people. The main target group for this festival was workplace employees, or soon-to-enter the workforce young adults and thus the various workshops were designed around how to deal with issues related to work and life.
The kickstart opening forum on 5th September, “Experts by Experience: Let’s Talk Mental & Emotional Breaking Points - and Coming Out on Top!” brought about frank upfront personal journey sharings by Azran Osman-Rani, Meriza Mustapha and Ellisha Othman - showing the audience that we are all human and busting the myth of an unbreakable perfect ideal life. Asha Gill moderated the forum skilfully to bring out the challenges faced by the panellists in their lives and careers, and tips and support that has helped them along the way.
“Thank you for a great sharing session. This session really calms me. Thank you.”
- Rifhan Hariz for Experts by Experience (Opening Forum)
Over the following weekends there were various workshops by psychologists, consultants, mindfulness and empathy trainers all aimed to impart practical tools for people to use in their daily life and at the workplace. Participants gave positive feedback on all sessions, which included Dr Shawn Lee’s sharing on “Finding Happiness at Work + Life”, Amy Ang’s mindfulness workshops, Keek Kai Shern’s “Succeeding with Your Personal Style” workshop, Low Mi Yen’s “Effective Communication at the Workplace and at Home” session, and the #EmpathyCircles workshop by the Tribeless team of Gwen Yi and Shawn Cheng.
“Thank you soooo much for the amazing session. I benefit so much from it. I will start to use these methods and statements.”
- Shuang for Effective Communication at the Workplace and at Home
The festival closed on 10th October 2020, with a panel forum titled “No Holds Barred: Our Experts Answer your Burning Questions”. The experts comprised three mental health professionals - Low Mi Yen (Clinical Psychologist), Lakshumy Kumar (Registered Counselor) and Dr Muhammad Haniff (Doctor in the Psychiatric Department). Many questions were submitted before and during the event and the moderator JD (Lite Breakfast Show host and The Jantan Collective founder) as well as the panellists worked hard to address the questions, as best they could. There were however questions that could not be covered in time and some of these were then compiled in a blogpost, answered by the SOLS Health team of psychologists.
All in all, there were numerous learnings for everyone involved - participants, speakers, moderators and the organising team - and it was a blessing in disguise that the event was able to reach participants from different parts of the world due to its virtual nature.
“Thank you so much for the hard work, everyone! We’ve learned so much over the past month!”
- Lim Michelle for No Holds Barred: Our Experts Answer your Burning Questions
SOLS Health wishes to thank Symphony Learning Solutions, our partner in organising this Go Slow to Go Fast event 2020 and all the sponsors for making this event possible.
As SOLS Health continues on this journey of advocating for mental health, we look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders - private, public, NGOs, corporates, community, individuals - in order to truly create meaningful and lasting impact that would benefit people at large.
As the saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. The Go Slow to Go Fast festival is one of those steps, and we are happy to have taken it and will not stop here.
Let’s join hands in tandem with this year’s theme for Malaysia - Let’s TALK Minda Sihat: Mental Health For All, Working Together To Prevent Suicide.
Let’s keep going, one step at a time.