Taylor's University organized an insightful talk on the future of mental health. The session was conducted by Ms. Madiha Fuad, Founder & CEO of PlusVibes and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zainah Ahmad Zamani, Programme Director, Master of Counselling, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Taylor's University. The session aimed to spread awareness on mental health support and enhance industry engagement between academia and private sector.
During the talk, Ms. Madiha Fuad shared her expertise on mental health through the utilization of a mobile application. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have encountered mental health issues due to job retrenchment, business problems and difficulties in starting a career. Therefore, PlusVibes has developed a mobile application that helps with various aspects of mental health, such as providing social support and preventing suicidal ideation. Currently, the application has 40,000 users and has been able to prevent 900 suicidal ideation. This application has registered counsellors and psychologists who provide mental health support to the users.
This industry engagement brings benefits to enhance the mental health services across the world and aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in enhancing good health and well-being among the society. Apart from the talk, Taylor's Master of Counselling programme and PlusVibes initiated a collaborative agreement to reach out more to the high-risk adolescents and urban poor community. This initiative aims to create inclusivity in mental health support by bringing more professional counsellors and psychologists onto one technological platform. In Malaysia, online counselling platforms are essential to provide full accessibility to those in need.
There is a high demand among the community as people want to remain anonymous. People could feel more confident in disclosing their problems as confidentiality is strengthened. However, online counselling in Malaysia is not yet well-established. Therefore, by having this industry engagement, Master of Counselling programme at Taylor's University could be among the pioneers to bring counselling to new perspectives as all the Lecturers in the programme are the registered Counsellors under the Malaysian Board of Counsellors or Lembaga Kaunselor Malaysia (LKM), transformative efforts can be established through proper policies and guidelines. The effort could also break down the mental health barriers among Malaysians.
In conclusion, the future of mental health is moving towards digital solutions, and such collaboration is crucial in navigating counselling into a new perspective. PlusVibes and Taylor's Master of Counselling programme are paving the way for a more accessible and inclusive mental health support system in Malaysia.