Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 15, 2008

Liow: 6% of Malaysians have suicidal thoughts due to stress

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:40 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: About 6% of Malaysians have thought about suicide at some point in their lives and that is alarming, said Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.
The bulk of those who have thought of killing themselves were aged between 16 and 24 years old, according to the National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2006, he said.
“The young do not know how to handle stress. If we can help them identify problems, they should be able to solve the root of the problems,” he said after launching the Let’s Overcome Stress 2008 at SMK Seri Permaisuri here yesterday.
He said the ministry would work with the Education Ministry to train school counsellors with more skills and techniques so that they are better able to guide students about how to handle stress.
Liow said the survey showed that 20% of children and 11% of adults had stress-related mental problems.
He said the group aged between 70 and 74 was the group with most stress-related problems (19.5%), followed by those aged between 16 and 19 (14.4%).
“About 14% of adults have acute sleeping problems. Those who have stress-related problems can seek help in government hospitals and clinics.
“We have doctors and psychiatrists to assist them to handle their stress. We’re concerned about this trend.”
On another issue, Liow said the public could file e-complaints on the ministry website ( if they felt private hospitals’ medical bills were exorbitant.
“I have set up the mechanism to handle the complaints. We will investigate once we receive the complaints,” he said, adding that he had had a dialogue with the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia recently.
Earlier in his speech, Liow said 174 food poisoning cases were reported for the first three months of this year, and 70% of the cases were in schools.
“School canteen operators will now have to attend seminars on safety and hygiene food,” he said.

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