Activism at its best: Fatima Shaheen endorses mental health campaign

Just as people like seeing a familiar face on a product they want to buy ; people associate with a cause at a deeper level if they see a public figure a celebrity or public figure endorsing it. Celebrities lending their voice for social causes always gives them more authenticity & strength. Recently we came across, famed TV Anchor Fatima Shaheen endorsing a Mental Health Campaign of ‘Health Republic’ & this awareness  campaign caught our eye! Considering we are living through a pandemic & the next global pandemic is predicted to be that of ‘mental health’ ….we asked her a few questions about this campaign.

Long considered a social taboo, mental health is a subject often too painful for many to talk about openly –what made you endorse an entire campaign on it?

As a public figure, I have always felt strongly for social causes & the need to give back to the society. Brand / product endorsements we all do – but it is always endorsements which are for the general good of the society that have been special for me.. which is why I agreed to be the face of this campaign.

Tell us more about this campaign…its’ aim & objectives? 

The idea behind this entire campaign is to stop stigmatizing mental health as a taboo topic & to start prioritizing it; to encourage intelligent & meaningful conversations on the importance of mental health

You have recently started these series interviews --who all are involved in this campaign with you?

My endorsement & activism for this campaign aside, we have recently launched a series of informative interviews with various prominent individuals from different walks of life …aim of these interviews is to learn from the experiences of these professionals, all of whom will give us their unwavering narrative on mental health. To give this campaign a titillating flavor— we have kick started these interview series with renowned Cardiologist Prof. Dr. Nauman Naseer who aptly explains the link between Mental Health & Heart Health by stating that “…a growing body of evidence is showing mental health is associated with heart disease. The effects of mental illness on cardiac disease can arise directly, from biological pathways, and indirectly ,from risky health behaviors.”

Other notable individuals like championer of human rights Justice (retd) Nasira Iqbal, eminent fashion designer Munib Nawaz have also been lined up for this interview series.

In the words of Munib Nawaz “..mental health is like any other facet of health. It completely depends on what you feed your mind, how you exercise your brain & what you surround yourself with... Health or lack thereof is a result of your nutrition, exercise and rest. If you put in what’s good,you get whatever you seek…”

One angle, I am particularly excited to delve in these series is….the link between fashion & mental health. Media industry (as we all know) can seem very glamorous from the outside but from the inside, it can be very lonely. What I want to bring out through these series is…why is it extremely important for the industry to spark conversations around mental health.

And we couldn’t agree more with Fatima on that! Looking forward to watching these series which we hope will not only be conversation starters for breaking the silence on mental health, but will also lay the ground …for many.

The author is a high-school teacher, considerate mentor and a passionate learner. She pinpoints fashion trends and loves writing about all the chic people in the glossy industry as well as about the drifts in the fast-paced fashion industry.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt