PETALING JAYA: There is a worrying increase in suicidal tendency among youths in Malaysia, says the Health Ministry.
Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah noted that in the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017, the trend among those aged between 13 and 17 had increased by 10% in 2017 compared to 7.9% in 2012.
"The same study showed that the depression rate (among those in the age group) is 18.3%, where one in five has depression; two in five, anxiety; and one in 10 suffer from stress," he said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 10) in conjunction with World Health Mental Day.
Hisham said many individuals who attempted to commit suicide or died of suicide were affected by several factors.
These include a history of attempted suicides, suffering from depression and mental illnesses, substance and alcohol abuse, chronic disease and loneliness.
"Preventing suicidal behaviour is a joint responsibility.
"We all can learn the signs of suicidal tendencies and take the necessary precautions," he said.
Hisham said these signs included isolating themselves from friends and family, not participating in their favourite activities, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, talking about death and suicide, and feeling hopelessness and guilt.
"According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), suicide is among the top 10 causes of deaths in the world, and is the second (biggest) cause of death amongst those aged between 15 and 29," he said, adding that the WHO noted that every 40 seconds, someone would die of suicide around the world.
Hisham said the ministry provided mental health services in some 1,001 health clinics nationwide, and over 200 physicians were at hand to do mental health inspection and intervention.
"Let us be a part of those who can help these people choose life, for there is hope and assistance available. Let's prevent suicide together," he added.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the stigma on mental health must be demolished.
"The community needs to be more open to talking about mental health issues.
"Every one of us is at risk of mental health issues. No exceptions," he tweeted at @DrDzul -
‘Sayangi Nyawa, Hidupkan Harapan’ - Tema Hari Kesihatan Mental Sedunia 2019.— Dzulkefly Ahmad (@DrDzul) October 10, 2019
Stigma kesihatan mental mesti dihapuskan. Masyarakat mesti lbh terbuka utk bicara isu Kesihatan Mental.
Setiap seorang kita berisiko utk mengalami masalah Kesihatan Mental. Tidak ada yg terkecuali... https://t.co/zUZe6oH0a9
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