Self-Injury Awareness Day goes virtual

The participants of the programme.

KUCHING: Over 200 people have participated in ‘The World Self-Injury Awareness Day’ (SIAD) programme through Zoom and the International Counseling Association of Malaysia (Perkama International) Facebook page.

The said programme was organised by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas)’s Faculty of Cognitive Science and Human Development (FSKPM) and Perkama International.

The panel speakers for the programme were Perkama International Deputy President Dr Mansor Abu Talib, Dr Amalia Madihie of Unimas, and International Islamic University Malaysia Dr Haniza Rais.

Ten professionals from various fields, namely clinical psychology, law, policing, medicine and others also attended the programme, which discussed on community mental health advocacy.

“SIAD is a global campaign to provide a platform for individuals who harm themselves to be more open, as well as to provide space and opportunities to share support resources such as counseling services.

“This campaign was held to raise public awareness of self-harm (or self-injury) and to reduce the stigma or stereotypes of individuals who opt for such behavior,” said Dr Amalia.

She also mentioned that there is an oblique view on individuals who harm themselves.

“They engage in these behaviors to cope with the difficulties in life and are believed to be able to provide relief to themselves or create a feeling of self-control in a psychologically unhealthy way.

“Therefore, it is very important for these people to know that there is help through psychoeducation that they can get from professionals like counselors,” she added.

This programme has been organised by Unimas for three consecutive years on March 1 and it has its own symbol — the use of the ‘Orange Butterfly Project’ that signifies support and encourages awareness of self-harm.