Malaysian Brands and Mental Health? 6 Powerful Ways to Support Malaysian Mental Health
Malaysians are not very big on mental health. Stigma is higher here than in other developed countries. Just ask any Malaysian mental health advocate, like MIASA. What are brands doing to help support mental health?
To make things worse, mental health advocates in Malaysia barely have any supporters. We’re talking about the lack of support from big names, such as celebrities and local brands. Think of an artist who has spoken openly about their conflicts and inner struggles or one who has donated their funds to a mental health-related cause. Name a local clothing brand that donates some of its earnings to mental health research.
Whilst Fog Off Clothing in Canada donates 10% of their profits to the Canadian Mental Health Association, and whilst the Los Angeles streetwear brand Madhappy has created a space for their community to talk about their mental health experiences and educate each other towards a happier life, no brand or business in Malaysia has yet cared to raise awareness of the significance of mental health in our lives.
So if you’re a Malaysian brand, look no further for a social cause to support. There are already Malaysian brands supporting refugees and almost-lost art forms. And if you’re thinking of showing support to the environment—by being zero-waste, using non-GMO cotton and vegetable-dyeing textiles as a clothing brand for instance— there are already brands doing that too. Why not do something no one around you is doing? Be a pioneer brand in Malaysia by caring about mental health.
Start by doing the following:
Start conversations about mental health.
People like it when you give them the chance to freely express themselves. Just make sure the interactions are positive and enlightening. A great way to do this is to simply write lots of articles on various topics in mental health specific to Malaysia and to then add a comments section for people to reply to, just like Madhappy does.
Raise local awareness of mental health associations.
When creating content, write some on mental health. Share posts by local mental health organizations to connect Malaysians with these life-changing causes, which shows everyone how much your brand cares about their psychological well-being. Or, like this post below, you could find a way to tell people how your product contributes to their mental health.
Share your (and your employees’) experience with mental health.
If the word doesn’t mean much to you, it may mean a lot to people you know at work and at home. Put out these stories (with permission of course!) anonymously on your social media account and website, and explain how these human experiences relate to your brand vision. For example, if you’re selling a face mask, why not market it as a new way to take a break and do self-care whilst working at home these days? Ideas for mental health are everywhere!
Listen to your audience and learn from what they have to say about anything.
After all, you didn’t start a conversation for nothing. Learn about the needs of your audience so that you know what to offer next and so that you get ideas on how to craft your social media posts around those human needs. For example, you might discover that a lot of your followers are women who have troubled relationships with food. Thus, these women have a need to improve their eating habits and the way they think about food.
Knowing this, you could offer content on how to eat mindfully and what thoughts not to have when eating, including referrals to local eating disorder experts. You could also create posts that act as reminders to treat yourself kindly and to eat well, encouraging people to assess their eating habits and make better decisions (one of those decisions is to choose your brand!).
Have all proceeds to one of your products go to a mental health foundation.
The American brand ban.do ensures that all proceeds of their nameplate necklaces that highlight mental illnesses go directly to the Bring Change to Mind charity, whose aim is to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Is there a Malaysian brand whose proceeds for an item go to MIASA, SOLS Health, RELATE Malaysia, or the Malaysian Mental Health Association? Be the first to care about mental health, not just making money.
Collaborate with other health brands.
As you support mental health advocates, let yourself be supported by others—you need support in supporting others. Collaborating with other brands who are also empathetic towards Malaysians’ real-life struggles goes a long way. In other words, work with brands who also care about mental health and come out with ways to amplify mental health awareness and raise funds. Mental health organizations always need your financial support for research on mental disorders, for awareness campaigns, and for sponsoring those who cannot afford therapy or counseling.
What else can we say? Be the first Malaysian brand to support a good cause that other brands have been ignoring and expect your own brand to grow along the way too. After all, all good deeds do get rewarded.
For more ideas on how to make your brand mental health-friendly, reach out to us and tell us about your goals as a brand. We are more than excited to help you on your journey to brand success.