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Student nurses spread mental illness awareness in pantomime

Salaseini Moceiwai
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

AS part of the Mental Health Awareness week, final-year students of the Labasa Sangam College of Nursing attracted hundreds of people at the RB Patel Supermarket car park yesterday with a mime show.

Draped in black attire with their faces painted white, the students enacted a play on how victims of mental illness were usually stigmatised and pushed aside in some communities.

It also included a theme on how people should work together to accept such victims in society.

College director Mahalaksmi Prabhu said the aim of the week-long campaign was to promote social and emotional wellbeing in the community.

"We want to encourage people to maximise their health potential and also enhance the coping capacities of communities, families, individuals and increasing mental health recovery," she said.

"Our outreach program here today is also contributing to the global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.

"We want to serve as a networking resource for people and the communities seeking nursing care or other health-related referrals.

"Also, our focus is on community-oriented nursing education."

Ms Prabhu said they would continue their outreach programs depending on the demand from the general public.

"We will be have another program at Labasa Muslim College on Friday and this is all part of our efforts to increase awareness of such illnesses.

"It's not the victim's fault if he or she suffers from mental illness and as concerned citizens, we must accept, love and care for them."

The theme for the awareness program is 'Help Starts with a Conversation'.

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