Published: Sunday October 7, 2012 MYT 4:02:00 PM
Updated: Sunday October 7, 2012 MYT 7:50:44 PM
Liow: Mental health among adolescents worsening
KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry views seriously the worsening trend concerning mental health issues involving adolescents aged 15 and below, said its Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Liow said statistics showed mental health problems involving the group rose to 13 percent in 1996, 19.4 percent in 2006 and 20 percent in 2011.
"We are very worried about the worsening trend on mental health of teenagers and children because this will affect national development as they are national assets," he told reporters after opening the national-level World Mental Health Day 2012 here Sunday.
He drew attention to the fact that teens and children today were heavily influenced by the Internet and communications technology to the point it was leading to less parent-child interaction while parents are busy with their careers were also treating lightly the supportive role they needed to play when it came to their children.
As such, Liow said the Ministry would make efforts to tackle the problem including preparing a national strategic plan on mental health and increasing the number of Community Health Centres from next year.
Liow said the plan among others would stress on the aspects of promoting mental health and smart partnerships involving various agencies and NGOs.
According to him, opening up more Community Health Centres would enable patients to receive treatment in a more conducive environment as compared to hospitals.
He said services like psychological support, counseling and information on mental health were available at such centres.
The first Community Mental Health Centre in the country was launched in Presint 11, Putrajaya last year. - Bernama