Each state must have men­tal health cen­tre’

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Com­mu­nity men­tal health cen­tres to reach out to peo­ple with sui­ci­dal ten­den­cies should be made more ac­ces­si­ble.

Malaysian Men­tal Health Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil mem­ber Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said such cen­tres should be set up in ev­ery state.

“In our de­sire to be a de­vel­oped and high-in­come na­tion, we must not lose sight of the im­por­tance of men­tal health devel­op­ment,” Lee said in re­sponse to a re­port by New Sun­day Times yes­ter­day on the rise of sui­ci­dal ten­den­cies among youth.

He said such cen­tres could cater to trou­bled in­di­vid­u­als with a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment.

“It is nec­es­sary that these cen­tres adopt an ap­proach dif­fer­ent from hos­pi­tals so that men­tal pa­tients will feel more com­fort­able dis­cussing their prob­lems with­out the re­stric­tions of clin­i­cal ob­ser­va­tions by ex­perts.

“What is more im­por­tant is that these cen­tres re­move the stigma at­tached to men­tal ill­ness,” said Lee.

He said school­child­ren must be taught cop­ing skills to pre­vent sui­cides due to cy­ber­bul­ly­ing.

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