Puan Anita Abu Bakar is the Founder and President of the Mental Illness Awareness & Support Association (MIASA), a peer-led advocacy NGO. As Anita was born and raised overseas, she subsequently pursued her tertiary education in the United States. She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, with a minor in Management Information Systems. Upon her return to Malaysia, Anita pursued a career path as an investment banker, and worked in the corporate field for over 10 years. She also holds an MBA in Islamic Banking and Finance from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).
Being a peer herself, Anita is an advocate in promoting awareness on mental. She has conducted various programmes and initiated much effort to educate the public on both the importance of mental health, and addressing the many misconceptions and myths prevalent on mental disorders in the hopes of reducing the society’s stigma and inducing the availability of more support for those struggling with psychological symptoms. One of her programmes under MIASA named Journey to Recovery, has aired in IKIM.FM, reaching out to those who are battling their disorders alone and in silence. The most recent programme under ikim.fm currently is called ‘Kembara Syifa’, and just completed airing its fourth season.
Social stigma and discrimination can make mental health problems worse and stop a person from getting the help they need. In this session we explore ways to identifying and reducing mental health stigma.