Tuesday, November 12, 2013

More specialists for mental patients

IPOH: WITH about 10 per cent of Malaysia's population projected to experience mental illness by 2020,  measures are being put in place to address the problem.
Dr Raba'iah Mohd Salleh, the director of Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta in Tanjung Rambutan, said more psychiatrists, psychologists and family medical specialists would be groomed to attend to patients with mental illness, as well as offer home care services.
There are 252 psychiatrists, 80 clinical psychologists and 228 family medical specialists in health clinics to detect and treat patients with mental illness.
Dr Raba'iah said more health clinics and mental health community centres would be set up.
"Hospital Bahagia is no longer a place to treat patients with mental illness unless they have acute and chronic problems. We now encourage family members to care for their loved ones. On the Health Ministry's part, we will provide home care services (if they have registered with us) and offer assistance on how to attend to those with mental illness. This will also bring us closer to society," she said after the launch of the mental health carnival by Hulu Kinta assemblyman Datuk Aminuddin Md Hanafiah here yesterday.
It was the first time such a carnival was held at a hypermarket.
She said that despite the recent spate of cases involving criminals with mental illness, there were no plans to make it mandatory for everyone to undergo mental health screenings.
Asked if mental illness among Malaysians was at a serious level, Dr Raba'iah said it was the same as in other parts of the world.
"It is just that we have no issues discussing it openly now compared with previously."

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