Health mental programmes implemented to detect mental problems

KUALA LUMPUR: Various mental health programmes have been implemented in all health clinics nationwide through integration to detect mental problems among society, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said the programmes covered promotional activities via screening to detect the early stage of stress, anxiety and depression among individuals who were at risk of mental problems.

"The ministry is concern about the mental problem issues in the country. According to a research in 2015, about 29.2% of Malaysians, aged 16 and above, are having mental problems.

"However, this percentage refers to those who are having mental problems and not mental illnesses. There is a difference between mental problems and mental illnesses," he said at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

He was replying to a question from Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang) about the ministry's planning to overcome mental health problems, which is the second top health problem in Malaysia.

Dr Subramaniam said the ministry had also implemented various programmes to improve stress management skills in order to prevent mental illnesses among the community through skills training and community empowerment activities.

He added that the ministry had also cooperated with the Education Ministry in conducting the healthy mind programme among Form Four students in all 2,343 schools nationwide.

The programme was aimed at identifying students' health status besides their stress and depression levels in order to get counselling service and further treatment, if neccesary. — Bernama