Home » Pioneering Workshop at CamTech University Illuminates Pathways for Mental Health and Economic Inclusivity in Cambodia

Pioneering Workshop at CamTech University Illuminates Pathways for Mental Health and Economic Inclusivity in Cambodia

by Surya Narayan
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The Cambodia University of Technology and Science (CamTech) in Phnom Penh recently hosted a workshop on 15th February, focusing on the relationship between mental health and the social and solidarity economy (SSE) in the context of Cambodia’s urban development. The Dissemination Workshop showcased the groundbreaking research of distinguished academics Dr. Ret Thearom and Dr. Chea Vatana, with backing from renowned organisations such as CamTech, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Ramboll Foundation, and The Better Cambodia.

At the heart of the workshop was the compelling address by H.E. Samheng Boros, who articulated a visionary perspective on the indispensability of mental health nurturance within Cambodia’s educational framework. His Excellency underscored the imperative to foster a future generation marked by resilience, innovation, and vitality, especially in light of the nation’s intricate history and the rapid pace of contemporary life. His Excellency Boros’s insights not only reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to mental health and social solidarity but also echoed a clarion call for collective action towards sculpting a compassionate, inclusive, and thriving Cambodian society.

Dr. Ret Thearom’s research presentation, “Mental Well-Being in Post-Conflict Cities in South East Asia: The Case Study of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap,” funded by the Ramboll Foundation, offered an in-depth exploration of the nuanced interrelations between urbanization, societal norms, and mental health. The study, notable for its innovative mixed-methods approach, unveiled pivotal insights into gender disparities in mental health and the varied perceptions of urban residents towards climate change and life quality.

Complementing this, Dr. Chea Vatana’s investigation into “Social and Solidarity Economy Actors in Cambodia” illuminated the burgeoning influence of SSE in shaping a holistic and sustainable economic paradigm for the nation. His research highlighted the critical, yet often underestimated, role of NGOs and social enterprises in championing social equity, environmental sustainability, and inclusive economic growth. Dr. Vatana’s call for greater recognition and support for SSE actors underscored their vital contribution to Cambodia’s journey towards sustainable and inclusive prosperity.

The workshop attracted a broad spectrum of participants, including private sector representatives and CamTech students, fostering a vibrant dialogue on the integration of mental health awareness and SSE principles as key to navigating contemporary challenges and cultivating a cohesive, prosperous Cambodian society.

This event not only marked a significant stride in acknowledging and addressing the intertwined challenges of mental well-being and economic inclusivity in Cambodia but also laid a robust foundation for future endeavors aimed at nurturing a mentally healthy, economically empowered, and socially inclusive Cambian society. Through the collective insights and discussions, the workshop has charted a transformative course towards realizing a future where mental well-being is a cornerstone of Cambodia’s socio-economic development.

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