Breaking the stigma around mental health issues
Maria Mumu, the founder of Moshal Mental Health, a youth-led organisation based in Bangladesh, is the first mental health advocate to receive the Diana Award.
Maria recently completed her A-levels, and looks forward to pursuing higher education in psychology. She founded Moshal as a response to the mental health struggles she faced as a child. "While I came across the help I needed, one of my friends committed suicide. There are countless people out there holding onto a thin string, struggling silently, constantly fighting with their own minds," she said. This realisation fueled her to create a platform that would defeat the darkness, bringing light to thousands of others.
Moshal is a youth-led organisation that strives to make mental health care accessible, affordable, and effective. It caters to a range of age groups through its diverse panel of experts and unique client-relations team, ensuring constant feedback and follow-ups. Additionally, it hosts initiatives to provide young people with the tools they need to build their resilience and become future leaders. "Moshal aims to address society's immediate needs and empower young people to bring change and spread mental health awareness," Maria added.
Since its establishment, Moshal has successfully helped over 400 people and conducted 900 sessions. It has provided around 400 free sessions and launched more than 10 campaigns, relevant to current social issues and training sessions to benefit the youth.
During Moshal's inauguration event, two psychologists educated hundreds of people about parenting, depression, and suicidal red flags. The team also held a seminar on peer pressure. During the pandemic, they launched a hotline number providing free psychological first-aid and enabled free counseling. "We also worked on a project to make an ebook on survivors and hosted a youth resilience, leadership, and entrepreneurship building event which was conducted by leading mental health experts and entrepreneurs," she further said.
Their pandemic activities also include group therapy sessions to help students cope with their academic uncertainties. Their recent endeavour, "Let's Talk Mental Health: Food For Mind" initiated a nation-wide dialogue through the sale of t-shirts with their signature mental health slogan. "We would be providing meals to underprivileged communities and cater to the mental health care of orphans through the revenue this campaign generated," she explained.
Through Moshal, Maria wishes to eliminate the stigma around mental health by starting conversations about it. "The Diana Award stands as a testimony for our progress. It is a stepping stone for us to bring about even more significant changes, and celebrate the Bangladeshi mental health sector," she concluded.
The author is a freelance journalist who likes reading, planning, and scribbling. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.