Fatimah (seated centre) poses for a photograph with State Social Development Council committees and others.

KUCHING: The National Health and Morbidity Study revealed that 35.8 percent Sarawakian adolescents from the rural areas had mental health conditions.

Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah told a press conference this after chairing the Social Development Council meeting at Wisma Bapa Malaysia yesterday.

She added the inability to sleep due to worrying also increased among youth from 7.3 percent in 2012 to 10.1 percent in 2017.

“In 2015, Sarawak ranked fourth highest in terms of mental health illness in the country.

“The study also revealed that mental health in Sarawak worsrurened in 2017 compared to 2012,” she said.

Fatimah said her ministry through the Social Development Council would be taking aggressive measures to address mental health issues in the state.

“The council will continue to organise pilot programmes on mental health in collaboration with the public, private and non-governmental sectors,” she said.

She also added that MPS would also organise a series of pilot intervention programmes in Bintulu.

“Together with Mental Health Association (MHA), the programmes will comprised Mental Health First Aid Course, Gatekeepers Suicidal Prevention Training and Community Health Literacy at SM Vokasional Bintulu.

“In October this year, we will be organising a dialogue session in Miri in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month,” she said.

Emphasising the need to foster a kinder and more supportive community for those suffering from mental health problems, Fatimah added, “As a community, we need to take responsibility to equip ourselves with the right knowledge and skills to help those going through mental health crises, and not dismiss or belittle their issues as negative thinking, overthinking or attention-seeker.”

Sources: New Sarawak Tribune