Befrienders Kuala Lumpur patron Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the issue warranted appropriate action, as the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 showed that 424,000 children were struggling with mental health issues.
“This is a great concern to all of us and this issue must be addressed properly as children are our future and our hope,” he said.
He said children must be equipped with problem-solving skills as well as skills to manage stress efficiently, apart from helping build resilience.
“Incorporating these elements into the school syllabus can help improve children’s mental health.
“Teaching staff can help make school a safer place by keeping an eye on any bullying incident.”
Bullying could severely affect a child’s mental health and could even lead to suicide, he noted.
“It is time for us to acknowledge the importance of mental health for both adults and children,” he said.
The stress causing factors include going to a new school and meeting new friends.
“All these can make them feel stressful or anxious.
“What more when school children now have to be taught about the new normal in schools,” he said.
He said parents should also play a significant role in ensuring their children’s mental well-being.
“Providing an environment at home which is filled with love and care can have a positive impact on children’s mental health.
“Encouraging healthy conversation - listening, and allowing them to talk without being judgemental and critical would help them open up and express themselves freely.
“This would encourage them to be more open to talk about their problems, including difficulty faced, and uncomfortable feelings, and reach out for help,” he said.
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