Malaysian mental health delegation visits BLG Mind

A high profile mental health delegation from Malaysia visited BLG Mind’s Beckenham site on 27 June to find out more about our services and the support we offer.

Dr Andrew Mohanraj, President of the Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA), and Jen Cheong, Executive Director of the MMHA, were in the UK to attend the 23rd World Federation for Mental Health Congress in London. They are part of a delegation led by Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan, the eldest daughter of the king of Malaysia. The princess is the international patron for World Mental Health Day and co-founder of the Green Ribbon Group, a social enterprise which promotes the mental health agenda in Malaysia.

The Malaysian mental health deputation with staff and volunteers from the Mindful Mums service. Back row, third from left, Jen Cheong, Executive Director of the Malaysian Mental Health Association; back row, fourth from right, Dr Andrew Mohanraj, President of the Malaysian Mental Health Association; back row, third from right, Ben Taylor, Chief Executive, BLG Mind.

The delegates met with staff and volunteers from the South East London Suicide Bereavement Service and Mindful Mums, which supports expectant and new mothers. The services were specially selected as the princess, a mother of one, is particularly interested in maternal mental health and suicide bereavement support. Ben Taylor, BLG Mind Chief Executive, also told the Malaysian visitors about the new Bromley Mental Health Hub, which forms part of the transformation of mental health services in the London Borough of Bromley under the NHS Long Term Plan. 

The visitors were impressed with the reach and impact of Mindful Mums, which is largely run by volunteers, and how it provides safe spaces for women to speak openly about their wellbeing. They were also interested to learn about our Being Dad service, which supports expectant and new fathers.

Describing the visit as “fruitful”, Dr Andrews said: “In particular, I was impressed with the perinatal support offered by enthusiastic volunteers. This intervention would significantly prevent exacerbation of symptoms and certainly promote mental wellbeing in expectant and postpartum women. I hope we can replicate this model of support in Malaysia.”

Following the visit, Ben commented: “It was a pleasure to welcome colleagues from Malaysia to BLG Mind. We enjoyed some really interesting discussions about both our services and the similarities and differences in the mental health context between our countries.”

More information

The World Mental Health Congress

South East London Suicide Bereavement Service

Mindful Mums