10 percent Malaysians projected to have mental illness by 2020

Posted on October 12, 2013

KOTA BARU: About 10 per cent of Malaysia's population is projected to experience mental illness by 2020.

Deputy director-general of Health (Public Health), Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said the increase in the number of people aged 50 years and above had implications on the healthcare system with regard to mental and physical health.

"This group will face declining health due to chronic diseases, loneliness due to isolation from family and society, lack of interest due to job loss, and financial problems due to the high cost of living."

"Generally, those aged 50 and above will experience emotional, personality and character change, and decline in mind functioning.

"These changes need to be given appropriate attention to help them maintain a good mental health level," he said.

"There are now 252 psychiatrists and 80 clinical psychologists, besides 228 family medical specialists at the health clinics to detect and treat patients with mental disturbance or mental illness".

Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from New Straits Times