MSU Student’s Article on Mental Health Aces International Competition

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

Rossheni, a student of the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) program at the MSU School of Pharmacy (SPH) and Secretary of the MSU Pharmacy Club 2018/2019, has 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’.

Mental wellbeing is considered a state of health. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, its condition is expected to queue into second place in the year 2020 behind cardiovascular disease’s effect on human health and economic potential.

Community resilience and supportive environments are important not only for health and wellness but also required for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

Encouraging pharmaceutical contribution towards building resilient communities, Rossheni in her article proposes mental health and wellness programs as well as literacy improvement. Pharmacists are equipped with background knowledge, communication, and counseling skills, she writes; and may utilize tools such as Australia’s ‘RUOK’ and the Malaysian Mental Health Booklet as basic guides for initiating conversations related to mental health.

As one of the MSU School of Pharmacy (SPH) star students, she was received the President’s List award once and the Dean’s List award seven-times for emerging tops in academics and co-curricular.

The next measure would be the proactive attainment of a basic skill set for mental health and psychological support. Valuable resources pharmacists can capitalize on including the ‘Basic Psychosocial Skills: A Guide for Covid-19 Responders’ and ‘Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide’. Pharmacists may also obtain certification in Mental Health First Aid.

Her third proposed measure is for pharmacists to undertake professional mental health training programs to build the supportive environments required for the nurturing of resilient communities. As pharmacists already play a role in psychiatric services (government hospitals, community pharmacy), such training programs would enhance their contribution towards workforce capacity in improving mental healthcare professional distribution and access.

The winning article is due to appear in the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO) World Mental Health Day 2020 Official Booklet.

As a member of IPSF, Rossheni is one among half a million pharmacy students and recent graduates affiliated to IPSF worldwide through regional extensions APRO (Asia Pacific Regional Office), AfRO (African Regional Office, EMRO (Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office), EuRO (European Regional Office), and PARO (Pan American Regional Office).

In second and third places respectively as the first and second runners-up to Rossheni Kaur Balwant Singh of Management and Science University (MSU) in the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO) World Mental Health Day Article Writing Competition are Chui Jun Hao from AIMST University and Lai Jun Hua from Universiti Sains Malaysia.