Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: Sarawak plans to build an Integrated Psychiatric Nursing Home to assure mental illness patients will receive better and comprehensive treatment from the psychiatrists, said Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

Fatimah Abdullah

She said a person with a history of mental health problems was not eligible to enter the rehab centre, Desa Bina Diri under Akta Orang Papa, while on the other hand; the said person cannot be detained at the Sentosa Hospital when he is already stable under the Mental Health Act.

“This encourages the government to strive to place 28 Psychiatrists in Sarawak where 22 Psychiatrists are housed in government hospitals, three in private hospitals and three in Unimas”, she said after the closing ceremony of the Administration on Mental Health Issues Workshop at Waterfront Hotel, here today.

She noted that mental health was a social problem that was increasingly widespread in the society today and Sarawak was ranked fourth in Malaysia according to the Health Ministry’s Health and Morbidity Survey in 2015.

Meanwhile, Fatimah said one out of three Malaysians were experiencing mental health problems, and 29.2 per cent of those are in the group age of 16 years old and over.

“While the prevalence of depression problems in Sarawak recorded 35.8 per cent of those aged 16 years old and above, 16 per cent were children under 15 years old,” she said.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Mental Health Association of Sarawak (MHAS), Dr Ismail Drahman said, among the major causes of mental illness were that patients did not express their feelings to those who were  more experienced or people who were acceptable to their opinions.

He said that the solution must start from family members especially; they should be more attentive, aware and support individuals with early symptoms of mental health disorders by ensuring that they were referred to health facilities for further assessment and treatment. – Bernama