Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella, Minister of Health of Sri Lanka applauded CIRP for it’s decade long contribution to mental health in the country at the opening ceremony of “State of Mind” the annual Mental Health and Psychology Awareness Exhibition.
Speaking at the event, Minister Rambukwella emphasized on the importance of developing mental health services and stressed that capacity building in metal health is essential. He appreciated the efforts of the students in organizing the exhibition and using the exhibition to draw attention of the public to mental health.
Minister Rambukwella declared open “State of Mind” as the chief guest on the first day of the exhibition by lighting the traditional oil lamp and visited all the stalls after his speech. He stated that stigma around mental illness is one key factor that prevents people from seeking help and events of this nature is useful in fighting stigma as well as various misconceptions and false beliefs about psychological disorders. Health minister also mentioned that there was a significant increase in mental illness during and in the aftermath of COVID pandemic and that has resulted in an increased demand for psychological services.
Minister went on to say that the contribution of private sector higher education organizations is vital in capacity building in mental health services and CIRP has contributed significantly to that effort. He recalled that he was a one of the special guests for CIRP’s first graduation in 2012 and the growth and development of CIRP during last ten years is extraordinary. Minister Rambukwella added that he considers it a privilege to open this event as the Subject minister today, a decade after his first involvement with CIRP.
Exhibition will be open exclusively for school children on the first day and will be open for general public on second and third day. Organized by the student community of CIRP, State of Mind is an annual event held parallel to world mental health day. Over 20 stalls on different aspects of mental health and psychology can be visited at State of Mind.