Friday, October 12, 2018

The Issue of Mental Health in Malaysian Schools

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. 

It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we cope with pressure, maneuver life's stresses and make choices. 

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. 

Therefore, it is a cause for alarm when the claim that Malaysians aged 13 to 17 are said to be suffering from mental health problems – at least according to a national survey conducted last year  is made!

One in five are suffering depression (18.3%), two in five anxiety (39.7%), and one in 10 suffering from stress (9.6%). 

And it is said that the number of suicide cases among students may have something to do with our education system which promotes an exam-oriented culture. Success is defined as collecting A’s through rote learning – as opposed to meaningful learning. 

According to the Education Ministry’s Program Minda Sihat (Healthy Mind Programme) 2017, which saw 284,516 students participating, of which 5,104 youngsters received intervention from their school’s counsellors. 

The National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2017, conducted by the Health Ministry’s Institute for Public Health, found that the state of mental health among Malaysian adolescents had reached an alarming state.

The survey on students’ problems found that 50% of 120,420 students faced personal problems that included exam stress, 29% faced family problems, 11% faced issues with friends, and 10% faced problems with their teachers. 

Also, suicidal behaviour among teenagers increased since NHMS 2012, with the highest suicidal behaviour recorded among Form 1 students. 

It’s good to know that the Education Ministry, together with the Health Ministry, carries out the said program. Among its objectives are to encourage mental health awareness to identify stress, anxiety and depression levels among schoolchildren. Students found to have mental health issues are given intervention programmes while those with critical issues are referred to psychiatrists.

It’s high time we look at introducing mental health education into our school syllabus – here’s why @

Don’t delay anymore! Mental health education can save young lives!

And yesterday, I presented another speech  my fourth this week  a CC #6 at another Toastmasters meeting.

This was at the MIEA Toastmasters Club at Dataran 3 Dua in Jalan 19/1 in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. This was my Project Speech #632 and the title of the speech was Saturday’s Nightmare. I am grateful to Joshua Chan for this opportunity. 

I was also the Table Topics Master – and given that there were only seven Toastmasters and a non-Toastmaster guest in attendance – I had everybody take part in the impromptu speaking session, save the TT Evaluator and I. I had based my topics around the meeting theme “Endure the Pain, Enjoy the Gain”.

I have now completed yet another round of the Competent Communication manual:

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