Stigma to mental health is deeply rooted and this has become a major concern amongst the youths in Fiji.
During the Youth Mental Health Forum 2022, Mental Health and Disability Advocate, Rosie Catherine says some of the contributing factors of mental health issues are due to financial problems, depression, stress, gender based violence and trauma.
She says there are some youths and students who do not speak about their problems and issues as they feel shy or scared of being judged. Therefore, to overcome and deal with these issues there are university policies on students well being and creative safe spaces where students can express themselves through art, music and talanoa sessions to de-stress themselves.
Catherine says it is important that students do not give up hope and should always reach out to someone for help or seek a counsellor when feeling down.
National President of the Fiji National University Students Association, Ketan Lal says FNU has a child protection policy, bully and harassment policy, counsellors and peer mentors in place for students who need counselling and support.
Lal says some of the mental health issues are due to education pressure, exam stress, workload pressure and relationship problems.
He further says that more outreach and awareness programs are needed to further talk and discuss about such issues and students need to be open minded to get assisted and supported.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations