Youths toyed with self-harm

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 20 Jun 2019

PETALING JAYA: A recent survey by an international survey agency revealed that almost a quarter of 1,027 Malaysians polled experienced suicidal thoughts, and it was especially prevalent among youths.

Even more alarming is that 26% of those surveyed by YouGov admitted to self-harm with the data showing that one in 10 young Malaysians indulged in self-harm frequently.

The latest survey by YouGov found that while two in 10 respondents rarely had suicidal thoughts, one in 20 had them frequently.

“Younger Malaysians aged between 18 and 24 tend to experience it more than older Malaysians aged 55 and above,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

The survey also revealed that 26% of those surveyed had engaged in self-harm with a third of them being youths.

“Among younger Malaysians, data shows that almost one in 10 self-harm frequently,” YouGov said.

The poll also noted that one in 10 respondents had experienced some form of mental health issues in their lifetime.

“Younger Malaysians are five times more likely to state that they have had mental health issues than older Malaysians (11% vs 2%),” the statement added.

YouGov also found that income earners of RM7,000 a month and above also appeared more likely to have experienced mental health issues compared to lower income earners of RM3,000 a month and below.

The survey revealed that depression (73%) and anxiety (53%) were the most commonly experienced mental health issues.

“However, only two in five (43%) of those with mental health issues go on to seek professional help for it.

“Men are more likely to seek help than women (50% vs 40%), and high earners are more likely to seek help than low earners (47% vs 35%),” YouGov said.

The survey found that the main barriers in seeking professional help were respondents being unsure of where to get help (56%), cost (50%), embarrassment or social stigma (38%) and concerns on time commitment (25%).

YouGov Omnibus Asia-Pacific chief Jake Gammon said many people with mental health issues suffered in silence and this was indicated by the survey.

“An alarming number of Malaysians experience damaging behaviour like suicidal thoughts and self-harm, particularly prevalent among young adults.

“We hope this survey sheds light on the topic of mental health, and how it affects people differently,” he added.

Last Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the Attorney General’s Chambers was instructed to study a proposal to decriminalise attempted suicide under the Penal Code.

Under Section 309 of the Penal Code, a person could be jailed a year, fined or both for attempting suicide.

Those in need of someone to talk to can call the Befrienders Kuala Lumpur at 03-7956 8145, 04-281 5161/1108 in Penang, or 05-547 7933/7955 in Ipoh.

For more information, they can email

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Johor traffic cop who allegedly extorted Singaporean couple assigned to another unit
Malaysian wildlife traffickers hit with US sanctions
Budget 2023: Discounts, vouchers and rebates to boost domestic tourism
Budget 2023: Stamp duty exemption for properties priced RM500,000 to RM1mil increased to 75%
Budget 2023: More needed to educate people on scams, financial literacy, says Fomca
Jho Low no longer on Interpol Red List? It's fake news, say cops
Budget 2023: National Scam Response Centre a step in the right direction to curb scams, says IGP
Budget 2023: GST not part of this year's plans, says Finance Minister
Budget 2023: Civil servants to receive RM600 Aidilfitri aid
Budget 2023: KJ welcomes funding, says Health Ministry will focus on five areas

Others Also Read