Health Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam recently revealed that more than 100,000 Form 4 students in Malaysia are dealing with mental health issues
According to a report by the theSun Daily today, 10 November, the mental health screenings were conducted by the Health Ministry in collaboration with the Education Ministry recently.
"From the screening we did in schools, more than 100,000 students have said that they have mental health issues," Dr Subramaniam told theSun Daily.
"About 79% of them admitted that their mental health issues are caused by either their own problems or family issues," he added.
He explained that Form 4 students are usually stressed out because they have to prepare for their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations in Form 5.
"However, many a time, they do not have enough support from families in addressing or handling the mental stress.
"So, we must give them empowerment through awareness and education to help them will all the challenges they face," he said .
Dr Subramaniam was responding to a question by Ampang PKR MP Zuraida Kamaruddin on the possible ways to address and overcome mental health issues.
The results were based on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) test that was conducted under the health ministry's Healthy Mind Programme among Form 4 students, across 2,343 schools
"DASS screening is conducted to check the status of the mental health of secondary school students to gauge the level of stress, anxiety, and depression.
"If the level of stress, anxiety, and depression is found to be high, the students will be referred to counselling services or to health clinics for further treatment by family health specialists," he said.
Dr Subramaniam also informed that there are different kinds of mental health programmes that are available in all government and private health clinics nationwide to address mental health issues in Malaysia.
There have also been activities to raise awareness on detecting mental health at early stages, and anxiety and depression among high risk individuals.
While we're on the topic of mental illness, listen to Dr Chua Sook Ning, a clinical psychologist, talk about the importance of mental health: