In recent months, we've heard a number of heartbreaking cases about teenagers who decided to end their own lives for various reasons.
Malaysian schoolchildren were not spared either.
According to the Health Ministry, a survey on student health revealed that up to nine per cent of teenagers aged between 13 and 17 showed suicidal tendencies
reported that out of the 25,507 students who participated in the survey, about seven per cent had even attempted suicide more than once within a period of 12 months.
This is not a statistic we want to see every day.
So, the ministry has finally taken action to address the mental health issue, especially among students here.
Counselling and psychotherapy sessions have been made available in 33 public hospitals and four mental institutions across the country.
Besides that, several programmes have also been introduced to help increase mental health awareness among the public and highlight the importance of mental health care among Malaysians.
One of the programmes is a collaboration with the Education Ministry to conduct 'Healthy Mind and Teenage Resilience' courses among secondary students.
In this programme, students are led through a healthy mind screening using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) to identify the level of stress, anxiety and depression they may be facing.
School counsellors would come into play should the screening detect something that could be worrying among the students.
The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund
revealed that up to one in five children in the world is suffering from mental or behavioural problems.
If you have a child, sibling, cousin or friend who could be demonstrating such problems, advise them to seek professional help. Here is a list of counselling
and psychiatric services
available in Malaysia.
Let's not wait until the milk is spilled before we start doing something about it.