KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Residents of the Federal Territories (FT) are the most affected by depression and anxiety due to several factors including the high cost of living, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said that based on the survey conducted in 2022, among other factors that contribute to the problems are pressure from parents and poor relationships with peers.
“The B40 group also makes up a large number in the (Federal) territories and we find many urban poor there. Relationship problems and pressure from parents, for example, also often cause the children to feel stressed out,” she said during Question Time.
She was answering a supplementary question from Hulu Langat MP Mohd Sany Hamzan who wanted to know which state has the highest number of mental problems and depression.
Meanwhile, Dr Zaliha said the Ministry of Health (MOH) has taken measures to address mental health issues experienced by the people, especially for target groups including the youth and the elderly.
She said that most of the mental health problems faced by young people are influenced by social factors such as financial problems, relationship problems, bullying, risky behaviour, substance abuse, low self-esteem and high expectations of themselves which contribute to high stress, anxiety and depression.
To deal with mental health problems among young people, Dr Zaliha said the MOH has implemented initiatives such as providing mental health services at 1,161 health clinics, 58 hospitals, 34 Community Mental Health Centres (Mentari), as well as four mental institutions covering aspects of promotion, prevention, early detection and rehabilitation.
In addition, the School Healthy Mind Programme implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Education covers screening and intervention using its Healthy Mind Module and the Health Ministry’s Adolescent Mental Health Module.
“To improve the quality of mental health care among the elderly, the MOH has provided mental health screening services at health clinics to detect early problems such as dementia,” she said.