RCE Greater Gombak - 2020


IIUM Mental Health and Psychosocial Care Team (IMPaCT)
Basic Information
Title of project : 
IIUM Mental Health and Psychosocial Care Team (IMPaCT)
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Gombak
Contributing organization(s) : 
International Islamic University Malaysia
National Security Council
Ministry of Higher Education

Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Dzulkifli Abdul Razak
Organizational Affiliation: 
International Islamic University Malaysia
Pamilia Lourdunathan
Organizational Affiliation: 
International Islamic University Malaysia
Format of project: 
Comic art, powerpoint, infographic, audiovisual, poster, campaign
Language of project: 
English and Malay
Date of submission:
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Geographical & Education Information
Kuala Lumpur
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Jalan Gombak
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
International Islamic University Malaysia is an international higher education institution that hosts RCE Greater Gombak. There are around 6000 staff and 26000 students in 5 campuses of IIUM, coming from 17 countries around the world. As an international institution, the community consists of people coming from various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. There are nearly 3000 students receiving financial assistance each year. In line with SDG 10, IIUM promotes inclusivity both in employment and access to education. As such, both the infrastructure and services are tailored to accommodate and support the physically and mentally challenged IIUM community.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
As an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19 in Malaysia, the government has implemented a Movement Control Order(MCO) starting from 18th March 2020. MCO has impacted the country not just economically, but also the wellbeing of the community, specifically their psychological well-being. Various mental health issues emerged during MCO among the IIUM community. The main themes of mental health issues are social isolation, fears and rumination,symptoms of psychological disorders which include depression, anxiety, trauma and stress-related disorders. These issues are triggered by various factors and undoubtedly related to the psychosocial,economic and spiritual condition of the community.
March, 2020 to October, 2020
As much as the effort to provide essential needs, food and shelter is crucial in the fight against COVID-19, the care for psychological well-being carries the same weightage. This pandemic carries with it various problems from all economic, social and environmental aspects ranging from loss of source of income, to the increased rate of domestic violence and disruption of the education system. These challenges inevitably affected the mental well-being of the community.
With the rising trend of mental health issues over these recent years and as COVID-19 pandemic sets in, it is timely that the IIUM Mental Health and Psychosocial Care Team (IMPaCT) is established. IMPaCT was established mainly to reorient the IIUM community towards the application of psychosociospiritual knowledge and skills in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the mental health and well-being care in IIUM as part of SDG 3, which is to ensure healthy lives and to promote well-being for all at all age groups. This effort did not stop upon the lifting of MCO but was further enhanced with the formation of the IIUM Special Mental Health Strategic Planning Task Force which is represented by mental health experts from various disciplines in the university.
IMPacT aims to reorient the IIUM community towards the application of psychosociospiritual knowledge and skills in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also tailored to address psychosocial and mental health issues within the context of IIUM community. Apart from increasing access to psychological support as a joint effort in providing a quality education within the IIUM community in the regional context, it also aims to deliver learning materials and emotional support as mental health awareness-raising efforts in the public in achieving a sustainable well-being for the future. Ultimately, it aims for improvement of the quality of life among IIUM community.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The IIUM Mental Health and Psychosocial Care Team (IMPaCT) provides a number of interventions:

a) Psychosociospiritual-education to develop awareness on good healthcare; hygiene-related behaviors; and psychosocial emotional-behavioral changes to reduce the transmission of COVID19 and to cope psychologically. This is delivered through infographic posters, comic art illustrations, articles, videos and web content.

b) Psychological assistance to students/academic/staff members to manage a wide range of emotions and responses if they are exposed to high-stress situations due to COVID19 (psychological distress, panic movement) through an e-counselling, e-psychosocial support and e-peer support groups platforms involving various collaborations within the institution.

c) The team delivers letters of appreciation and comfort to the frontliners, academics, parents of students and students living in the campus during MCO.

d) World Media Engagement: BBC World News and local newspaper articles

e) The team was engaged by the Ministry of Higher Education and National Security Council to provide psychosociospiritual-educational content for the nation.
Size of academic audience: 
More than 100
Since the beginning of the service offered by IMPaCT, there are nearly 300 e-psychosocial support sessions conducted through various online platforms, with Whatsapp, Telegram and Google Meet being the most used medium. The comic art illustrations and posters on psychosociospiritual educational content successfully attracted a large audience, leading to the establishment of a strategic collaboration between IMPaCT and the National Security Council. Apart from the educational content, the team produced a book entitled “On Psychosocial Support during Covid-19 Pandemic”. The impact of these initiatives are not limited to what numbers could capture, as the real impact lies in the increased awareness of the importance of mental health for all in ensuring not only good health and welll-being as proposed in SDG 3, but a peaceful and strong institution as in line with SDG 16. The establishment of the Mental Health Task Force is among the illustrations of how successful this initiative leaves as the name suggests, impact.
Lessons learned: 
Promotion and the raising of awareness of well-being for all staff and students was able to be achieved through the empowerment and sustainability of ongoing psychosocial support. From these initiatives, the youth communities are empowered to obtain mental health literacy and to increase the awareness of their peers. However, the challenge lies in sustaining the networking and collaboration with the policy makers. As COVID-19 exposes the community with a variety of socioeconomic vulnerabilities, the efforts to continuously strengthen mental healthcare services should therefore be taken up seriously by the university management and policy makers in general.
Key messages: 
IMPaCT has contributed in a variety of ways through its sustained efforts and commitments through the raising of awareness in psychosociospiritual knowledge and education as well as e-counselling and psychosocial support. It strives to attain its long-term goals of achieving the sustainable development goal of promoting good health and well-being.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
IMPaCT welcomes collaborations with RCE around the world
The team is made up of volunteers from various expertise without any additional allowance or incentives


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon WhatsApp Image 2020-10-31 at 9.56.28 PM.jpeg (105.48 KB) Mental Health Check In Poster IMPaCT
Image icon WhatsApp Image 2020-10-31 at 9.55.40 PM.jpeg (214.33 KB) Part of Comics illustration IMPaCT
Image icon WhatsApp Image 2020-10-31 at 10.00.00 PM.jpeg (203.48 KB) The IMPaCT Team IMPaCT
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level