Zalifah first discovered that mental health could have a devastating impact on her one fateful day when she was in her early twenties. Someone close to her attempted suicide, out of the blue. Since there had been no warning signs, Zalifah was completely shocked to hear the news. However, she did not have time to react properly. Zalifah’s sister was scheduled for an induced labour the very next day, so Zalifah went from panic and concern one moment to celebrating the birth of the newest member of her family the next. Due to the flurry of activity, she never had the chance to properly talk about the attempted suicide or to help address the root causes that led to it.
In those early years, Zalifah lacked understanding about mental health. She came to the conclusion that the incident was probably one-off, and treated it as a taboo topic. When her loved one was unable to handle stress and quit one job after another, Zalifah thought the reason must be laziness. To her, every job would have some level of stress, and it was not reasonable to keep moving between jobs. Without proper understanding or empathy, it was not long before a massive breakdown occurred again, causing Zalifah to rethink her attitude towards her loved one.