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Fostering Mental Health Awareness, Emergency Response and Disaster Preparedness

27 Dec 2023

In 2022, the International Medical University (IMU) organised its inaugural IMU Annual Community Outreach Programme in Miri, a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. This two-day event, led by IMU Cares and IMU MBA in Healthcare Management students, aimed to make a positive impact on the local community by addressing critical issues through a community project and disaster preparedness workshop.

The first day of the programme, held on 3 September, 2022, titled “Cahaya Mata Miri” focused on promoting mental health awareness among adolescents in Miri. This event was a collaborative effort between MBA in Healthcare Management students with the Psychiatry Department of Miri General Hospital and it took place at Pullman Miri Waterfront, Sarawak. The full-day programme brought together 40 adolescents, aged between 13 and 17 years old, from various schools in the region.

This IMU community project is aimed to create awareness about mental health, destigmatize mental health conditions, and provide practical strategies to cope with stressors. By fostering open discussions and engaging mental health professionals and educators, the initiative aimed to build resilience and establish supportive social environments and networks within the community.


On the second day of the IMU Annual Community Outreach Programme, held on 4 September, 2022, in Miri General Hospital, the focus shifted to emergency response and disaster preparedness. The workshop was attended by over 50 participants from various governmental and non-governmental organizations, professional healthcare practitioners, and civil societies.


The COVID-19 pandemic emphasised the need for rapid responses to emergency situations, especially in disaster scenarios. This workshop is designed to equip participants with essential skills and knowledge to manage critical incidents and respond effectively to various hazards. Experts and experienced professionals, including a notable panel speaker from the Malaysian Civil Defence Force, were invited to share their expertise and insights. This event included field training exercise and assessment.

The IMU Annual Community Outreach Programme in Miri successfully made a lasting impact on the community. By addressing both mental health awareness and emergency response, IMU MBA Healthcare Management students demonstrated its commitment to driving social change and fostering university-community partnerships. Throughout the event, IMU MBA Healthcare Management programme showcased its dedication to going beyond theoretical education.

IMU believes in providing real-life industrial and community experience to its students and this outreach programme serves as a testament to that commitment. By collaborating with professionals, industry experts, and government agencies, IMU ensures that the MBA in Healthcare Management students gain practical knowledge and skills that are relevant to real-world challenges.


IMU MBA in Healthcare Management programme emphasises the importance of practical experience, encouraging students to apply their knowledge in real-life situations. Through initiatives like the IMU Annual Community Outreach Programme, MBA Healthcare Management students are exposed to pressing community issues and are encouraged to develop solutions that can make a meaningful difference.


Overall, the IMU Annual Community Outreach Programme in Miri was a resounding success, leaving a positive impact on mental health awareness and emergency response capabilities within the community. IMU’s dedication to holistic education reaffirms its position as a global centre of excellence in medical and health care management education in Malaysia.


Written by  Dr Ashwini Nair Prabhakaran & Dr Vijayesvaran Arumugam

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