Recognised by the World Federation for Mental Health, the World Health Organisation and other UN Agencies, she urges all to “keep the conversation going” on mental health in her Instagram post.

Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan, Malaysia’s International Patron of Mental Health

Mental health is something little talked about in Malaysia, and mental illnesses are even harder to diagnose because of taboo. It is time we saw it as another important aspect of being a holistic human being to care for equally as much as our physical and spiritual self.

Malaysia and Asia in general may be regions trailing behind in the care for its people’s mental health, but we are taking the first step towards more open conversations to identify, support and help mental health sufferers with the appointment of International Patron of World Mental Health Day 2020, Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan.

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10.10.2020 – I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support this week. The invitation to be International Patron of World Mental Health Day 2020 is testament to Malaysia’s efforts towards mental health. It is an honour for our country as much as it is an honour for me. I am most humbled by the recognition that the World Federation for Mental Health, the World Health Organisation and other UN agencies, have given us. We now must keep the conversation going. Together let us do our best to create a safe space for everyone struggling with mental health issues. Raise awareness. Break the stigma. Support those who are suffering. My very best wishes for World Mental Health Day 2020 💚

A post shared by Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan (@imanabdullah) on

Recognised by the World Federation for Mental Health, the World Health Organisation and other UN Agencies, she urges all to “keep the conversation going” on mental health in her Instagram post. “Together, let us do our best to create a safe space for everyone struggling with mental health issues,” she adds.

A mother of one and an all-around millennial royal reimagining that the job in a digital age, this is why she’s perfect for the role.


Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan is the eldest of three princesses of the Yang Dipertuan Agong. She has another two sisters from His Royal Highness’s other marriage.

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She has a one-year-old son, Tengku Zayn Edyn Shah, with husband Tengku Abu Baker Ahmad. As a mother, she is constantly addressing issues troubling today’s women who are often juggling work and home, an issue she relates to on a personal level because she is in the same place.

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Zayn’s first raya❤️Selamat Hari Raya everyone❤️

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Well-read and highly educated having read politics at the University of Nottingham in the UK, she is technologically and social media savvy, allowing her to make relevant decisions and work towards pertinent goals in her role as a leader for the new generation.

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Missed the cold ❄️❄️❄️

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Mental health is a cause close to her, having suffered from anxiety as a teenager. She knows first-hand the importance of de-stigmatising mental illnesses so no one has to suffer in silence and, more importantly, obtain the help they need to get better.

Branching out from her advocacy on mental health, she’s also a big champion for women empowerment. She tries whenever possible to tie the two together as they are two key parts of a whole picture. “I think female empowerment should not only be seen in terms of leadership roles and equal pay, but more importantly, within the mental health sphere. Women should know that they can ask for help and that society is looking out for them instead of them having to shoulder more than they can manage,” she told New Straits Times.

Learn more about Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan by following her on her Instagram here.