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Winning entry

Management and Science University student’s mental health article aces international competition

09 Feb 2021 / 10:15 H.

MANAGEMENT and Science University’s (MSU) former student Rossheni Kaur Balwant Singh has been declared the winner of the World Mental Health Day Article Writing Competition, organised by the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO).

Rossheni, who holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) from MSU School of Pharmacy (SPH) and held the post of secretary of the MSU Pharmacy Club in 2018/2019, received a Certificate of Excellence for her article, The role of pharmacists in building resilient communities to improve mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19.

In her article, Rossheni proposed mental health and wellness programmes as well as literacy improvement to encourage pharmaceutical contribution towards building resilient communities.

She wrote that pharmacists are equipped with knowledge, communication and counseling skills, and can utilise tools such as Australia’s “R U OK” and the Malaysian Mental Health Booklet as basic guides to initiate conversations related to mental health.

Mental wellbeing is considered a state of health. In 2020, mental wellbeing was placed second behind the effects of cardiovascular diseases on human health and economic potential, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hence, community resilience and supportive environments are important, not only for health and wellness, but also to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal.

As one of the university’s star students, she received the President’s List award once and Dean’s List award seven times for emerging tops in academics and co-curricular activities.

She also proposed a proactive measure for pharmacists to attain basic skill sets in promoting mental health and offering psychological support.

Rossheni added that pharmacists can capitalise on valuable resources, including Basic Psychosocial Skills: A Guide for Covid-19 Responders and Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide.

They can also obtain certification in Mental Health First Aid, she added.

Her third proposal was for pharmacists to undertake professional mental health training programmes to build supportive environments, which is required for the nurturing of resilient communities.

As pharmacists already play a role in psychiatric services (government hospitals, community pharmacies), such training programmes would enhance their contribution towards the workforce in their capacity to improve mental healthcare through professional distribution and access.

Rossheni’s winning article is due to appear in the IPSF APRO World Mental Health Day 2020 official booklet.

She is among half a million pharmacy students to be affiliated to IPSF worldwide, through regional extensions of APRO, the African Regional Office, Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, European Regional Office, and the Pan American Regional Office.

The first and second runners-up in the competition were Chui Jun Hao from AIMST University and Lai Jun Hua from Universiti Sains Malaysia.

As a top university in Malaysia, MSU prioritises student development to enhance employability.

With 98.7% of its graduates successfully securing employment within six months of graduating, MSU is ranked first in graduate employability by the Higher Education Ministry.

Blending technical vocational education and training with traditional academic curricula, MSU enhances competencies through industry internship, community and creative entrepreneurship, as well as global exposure, empowering MSU graduates with a well-rounded education sought by employers.

Various skill-enhancement programmes aimed at improving competitiveness are also offered to students. The Graduate Employability Skills and Personal Enrichment Competencies programmes serves to improve soft skills.

For information on pharmacy courses or other programmes offered at MSU, call 03-5521-6868, email enquiry@msu.edu.my, or visit www.msu.edu.my

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