I am very glad to have participated in the LiA program, it is really a memorable and rewarding journey. During the program, not only have I met new fellows with common interests, but also devoted myself to something meaningful to the community. I have never thought that I would be participating in a mental health program as this is not my study field. However, this treasurable opportunity popped up with an unforgettable experience.
Throughout the program, our group is responsible for creating monthly infographics to raise public awareness of common mental issues. After in-depth and sufficient researches, the most challenging part is to present the materials. It is different from academic presentations that we have done in university. Instead, we are not talking to the professors, but the community fellows, we need to create a product that is suitable for all.
The most critical skill I took away from this experience is how to communicate and bridge society with some professional information that they need to know. It is about linking ourselves to the community instead of just talking from the book. Fortunately, we are all passionate and attentive peers who are willing to understand the community thoroughly. With good leadership from my fellows (indeed, we took turns to be the leader of a certain aspect), we developed clear and reachable goals from time to time. Our missions and final products walked on the path of “simple words, important messages”. By creating 12 months infographics in eye-catching styles, interesting slogans and short videos, I believe that the all-age suitable promotion can effective raise the awareness and advocate social inclusion.
Speaking of leadership, I would like to credit the two organisations (Think Pacific and Psychiatric Survivors Associations) working with us about their outstanding efforts in the local community in Fiji. They have demonstrated excellent leadership skills for us as a role model, they not only lead us on to the right path by providing instant consultations, but also work together with us to make us feel included and welcomed. They are also very passionate in introducing their own cultures and local community to let us have a better understanding of the real situation in our final project. I am sure that we could not reach this far without their leads.
Moreover, it is an outstanding experience for me to be in a team and work as a team. I always know that one person may not make a big sound to make the world a better place, but a team with same goals and determinations can. Thus, I am very appreciated to work with my fellows, especially when finding ways to reach out to the people in need. We have also reflected on our own daily behaviours. We understand more about how to carry and spread positive messages to society, as well as being more considerate to the people who are suffering from mental issues to create a harmonious and loving society for them.
Overall, I am very glad that I could be in this lovely journey. I look forward to contributing myself to similar journeys or the community in the future with the experiences, skills, memories and knowledge I gained from here.