20181011SN 6

‘Mental health problems to affect 40pc Malaysians’

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PUTRAJAYA — An estimated 40 per cent of Malaysians will face mental health problems in their lifetime, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said yesterday.

She said a 2017 survey by the Health Ministry found 18,336 Malaysians out of 273,203 screened faced various levels of stress that caused them to suffer mental health problems.

“Of this total, 11,811 people suffer from mild emotional stress, 3,680 moderate stress and 1,682 severe stress,” she said in her speech to mark the World Mental Health Day 2018 here.

She said Malaysians must stop ostracising those with mental health issues.

She said some religions also saw people with mental health problems as being weak in their faith.

Dr Wan Azizah said mental health problems should be viewed in the same light as physical health issues.

“The sooner we change this perception, the better it is for all of us,” she said.

Citing a report, she said there was growing prevalence of mental health among youths.

Dr Wan Azizah said this should be taken as an early warning sign.

She said the government must plan ahead for the facilities and treatment to address the problem.