Three Psychology Alumni Kickstart The Reframe Project
The Reframe Project is a mental health hub for Malaysian young adults to obtain accurate knowledge on mental health to curb stigma, encourage help-seeking behaviour, and connect with other young adults. Their meticulously created stories and webinars provide mental health information that is actionable, credible and accessible in both Malay and English!
Founded by Shasvini Naidu, this initiative was inspired by her encounter with young children who narrated heart-breaking stories of the mental health stigma they experienced in their daily lives. It encouraged her to curb the stigma through mental health education which she put into action by creating The Reframe Project and growing it into a platform that now educates people in all the states in Malaysia.
Her work at The Reframe Project demonstrated how much mental health awareness is needed. “The feedback that we get from our mental health webinars… every feedback just tells us how important it is and how much we need this. It is something I realized over time, that every work we do has a significance and if it is practical, it will be more useful”, she explained. Shasvini credits her team of close friends for their roles in the growth of The Reframe Project and the impact it has on mental health awareness.
Daryl Loh was one of the first few to join The Reframe Project where he handles the technical facets of social media, webinars, and emails as well as assisting in the planning of future projects. He strongly believes that mental health should be treated with equal importance as physical health and is optimistic about the growth in demand for mental health content online “Before this, there was very little mental health content in the public space and people theorized that there is no demand for it but I realized in the past few webinars that this is not true. There is a demand for the content and information we provide, specifically more so during COVID-19. We have a lot of people coming in from different states of Malaysia and one of the participants commented that they don't have facilities over there so they can’t get the help that they need. This shows us that there is a demand, there is a presence of people who want to know this information and want to access these services but are unable to.”
Ethan Ganes plans out the future directions and manages the manpower of The Reframe Project as the Operations Lead. He prides in the diversity of educational backgrounds their team has and its collective influence on the quality of their content. He asserted, “Every skill is needed for spreading mental health awareness and literacy. The diversity in perspectives of our team help us create real and more helpful webinars than we would if we just sat back as Psychology students and said - What do we want to hear?”. Ethan encourages people from all walks of life to be curious about mental health and be involved even in a small capacity. “Be curious, figure out what excites you about mental health and then be involved in whatever capacity you can. That makes a difference because when you are involved, you are in this space and when you are in this space, this space becomes more normal and you become ready to welcome other people to the world of understanding mental health”, he added.
Shasvini and Ethan have since decided to pursue their postgraduate studies. Shasvini is now a Master of Clinical Psychology student at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia), while Ethan is enrolled in the Master of Professional Counselling program at Monash University Malaysia. Daryl is currently a research assistant at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. The Department of Psychology is very proud of its graduates who are taking great efforts in giving back to the community.
This article was adapted from the SMiLeS Newsletter, Issue 3/2021