More mental health specialists needed

Next step forward: Prof Pradeep said the programme will ensure that students receive education that meet MSCP’s requirements and standards.

THE Covid-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of mental well-being as there are Malaysians who face issues like anxiety, stress and even depression, said Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah.

The International patron for World Mental Health Day, who was present at the virtual launch ceremony of Taylor’s University’s Master of Clinical Psychology on June 24, lauded the varsity for addressing the needs of society through its newest programme.

“It is great to see education institutions invested in the overall well-being of society and designing programmes that respond to urgent societal challenges,” she said, while extending her well wishes to students and faculty members who are part of the programme.

The varsity, in a press release, said mental health care is as much a necessity as physical health care.

To ensure the country has sufficient clinical psychology specialists, Taylor’s University introduced a postgraduate in clinical psychology programme.

The two-year coursework-based Master of Clinical Psychology aims to produce professional and competent clinical psychologists who are well versed in the fields of diagnosis, psychological assessment, psychotherapy and intervention, clinical research and prevention of mental health issues.

It will also empower students to put their knowledge to practical use through the university’s partnership with several mental health organisations in Malaysia, the varsity said, adding that there are some 300 clinical psychologists registered as full members in Malaysia, but only some 200 are actively providing psychological services.

Taylor’s University deputy vice-chancellor and chief academic officer Prof Dr Pradeep Nair said along with building practical skills, the programme will ensure that students receive education that meet the requirements and standards of the Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP).

“Upon completion, graduates will be eligible to register under the Malaysia’s Allied Health Professions Act 2016, which helps recognise them as mental health practitioners and open doors to exciting career opportunities in various industries including health and well-being, education, non-government organisations, and corporate,” he said during the virtual launch ceremony.

Prof Pradeep added that the launch of the programme is the varsity’s next step forward in developing access to high-quality mental health in the country, following the successful launch of Taylor’s Centre for Human Excellence and Development last year, which is Malaysia’s first artificial intelligence-powered research facility for mental health and behavioural sciences.

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