Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur (WPKL) records the highest number of people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders in Malaysia. The question was asked by the MP of Hulu Langat, Mohd Sany Hamzan, to the Health Minister, Dr Zaliha Mustafa, in today’s parliamentary session.
Mental health issues have been an ongoing concern for many people in Malaysia. Even though there are efforts to overcome mental health problems among the public, it’s still too far from being successful.
In 2022, the Ministry of Health conducted a screening among 336,900 people, and it was proven that people living in KL suffer mental health issues like depression and anxiety the most.
Dr Zaliha explained that KL people face many problems because they’re living in the busiest cities in the country. The most evident contributing factors to these mental health concerns are the high living cost and relationship issues. The majority of B40 and low-income earners live in the city.
Additionally, relationship issues are one of the factors of depression and anxiety. For example, students are pressured by their parents to become a person they don’t want to be. Furthermore, peer and societal pressure also causes these individuals to experience stress, depression or anxiety.
Other factors are financial problems, substance abuse, low self-esteem and a toxic mindset adopted in everyday life.
MOH’s initiatives to help people in need
1) MOH offers mental health assistance programs at 1,161 clinics, 58 hospitals, 34 healthcare centres (including MENTARI), and 4 mental health institutions nationwide.
2) Next, MOH collaborated with the Ministry of Education through Program Minda Sihat. This program offers screening and intervention services for those in need.
3) Program Ekspresi Remaja Lestari is also a collab work with the Ministry of Education. It’s to improve the lifestyle, coping skills and resilience among students to avoid issues like bullying and immoral behaviour.
4) Siswa Sihat (PRO-Sis), Hari Sukan Negara and Hari Kesihatan Minda Sedunia are joint projects with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
5) For the elderly, MOH will introduce a program to spark awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Also, there will be an awareness program for the caretakers of the elderly with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Even though the number statistics are worrying, we hope these programs proposed by MOH will be a little helping hand for those battling mental health problems.
Don’t be afraid to reach out. You’re not a burden.