Syed Saddiq talks up importance of mental health

15 Oct 2018 / 12:07 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should not regard mental health issues as irrelevant, says Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
"Mental health issues in Malaysia is a serious matter and should be highlighted not only by the government but by every level of society. Every one in 10 Malaysian youth has thought of committing suicide," Syed Saddiq said.
He was sharing a 2017 National Mental Health Survey which found that 10% out of 5.5 million Malaysian youths had thought about committing suicide, while 6.9% of the same number have attempted suicide.
"While that number may not seem like a huge figure, it shows that someone around us today has contemplated suicide.
"Mental health issue is not visible, we don't see it physically, openly," he said in his speech at the launch of the Young Minds Take Charge programme at Melawati Mall, in Ampang Jaya, near here today.
In his speech Syed Saddiq urged parents, school and university personnel not to treat the issue lightly as youths afflicted by mental health problems would not have the same mental state as others.
"There may be those among our friends who suffer depression. Not everyone shares the same mental fortitude as us.
"In this struggle, everyone has a role to play. Parents need to pay close attention to their children as they can act as early intervention and the public do not regard psychiatrists as an enemy and mental health issue as taboo.
"If we are ashamed and turn this issue into a taboo, it would lead to fear for the youth to share their problem with others," he added.
The Young Minds Take Charge programme was organised by Universiti Teknologi Mara's (UiTM) Faculty of Medicine and Selayang Hospital's Psychiatry and Mental Health Department.
The event seeks to raise public awareness on mental health.

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