Monday, July 30, 2018

TIme to Take Mental Health Seriously

It is timely that Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (right) recognizes that mental health must not be taken lightly.

Illnesses such as depression affect large swathes of the population, she acknowledges. 

On Saturday, she had referred to the Health Ministry's 2017 survey that found 18,336 of the 273,203 individuals – representing 6.7% – who visited health and community clinics to be at varying stages of depression. 

(I won’t give the breakdown on the numbers said to be suffering from mild to moderate to acute depression as reported in Malay Mail Online on July 28, 2018 because the numbers don’t add up). 

It’s a worldwide phenomenon and that's why she cited figures from the World Health Organization's record of over 800,000 reported suicide cases worldwide each year. I’m assuming she highlighted this statistic because she wanted to establish a correlation between depression and suicide. 

She had also noted that experts have said 40 percent of Malaysians are expected to suffer from mental health issues within their lifetime. 

Telling us is not enough. 

We need to extend help. We need to reach out. We need to provide a lifeline.

No comments: