Materia Medica Malaysiana

February 26, 2007

Time For Study On Mental, Emotional Stress, Says Social Activist

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:39 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 (Bernama) — Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said today it was time the government conducted a comprehensive study to identify the number of Malaysians suffering from emotional and mental stress, factors which contributed to the suicide cases in the country.
He said the last time such a study was done was in 1996 when it was found that 10.5 per cent of the adult population in the country was under mental stress.
He said that of late, there had been reports in the media on suicide cases or attempts among Malaysians, brought on by stress and extreme depression.
An example was the case where a couple forced their children to drink a detergent compound to end their lives before taking their own, apparently driven to that state by emotional stress caused by an agitating loanshark.
“We do not want this culture to spread, where the head of a family convinces his family members to commit suicide to solve any problem,” Lee told Bernama here today. Lee also suggested that a counsellor be appointed at every housing estate in both rural and urban areas so that those with emotional problems could seek advice from a professional.
In this regard, he welcomed the One Family-One Counsellor programme, initiated by the Social Bureau of the Umno Supreme Council, that was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Seremban early this month.
He considered the programme a proactive approach towards finding a solution for families whose members might be suffering from mental stress.
In addition, he said, counselling sessions should be held at the workplace for workers who have problems coping with the pressure there.
Lee said society must change its perception of people who seek help from psychiatrists, and avoid labelling them as being mental patients. “Such a phenomenon does not happen in developed countries like the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom where those with emotional problems are quickly referred to psychiatrists,” he said.
Lee said Malaysian society must be more matured in handling emotionally-disturbed individuals, and refer them immediately to the experts.

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