Materia Medica Malaysiana

November 24, 2007

Mental illness afflicts more than 3 million Malaysians

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:06 am

Star: OVER three million Malaysians – or 16% of the population – have been diagnosed with mental illness, reported Tamil Nesan.
Quoting Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, the paper said this was shown in the findings of a national health and morbidity study that was carried out last year.
The study also showed that the number of Malaysians suffering from mental sickness had risen 6% over the past 10 years, Dr Chua said when launching the national-level World Mental Health Day event in Sungai Petani.
He said 20.3% of the sufferers are children below 16 and 19.5% are senior citizens aged 70 and above.
Mental stress among young people was mainly due to bad examination results, family pressure and lack of support from society.
Dr Chua said some students felt the pressure even when they do not get straight As and because they felt humiliated, stupid and useless.
Some take suicide as the way out, he said, adding that there were 20 to 30 suicides among 100,000 Malaysians each year.
Dr Chua said some mental patients remained uncured because they resort to bomohs.
He said the ministry has only 145 psychiatrists, while the country required another 300 experts.

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