Minister denies cut in mental health allocation under Budget 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pic) has denied allegations there was a cut in allocation for mental health, saying that a total of RM24mil had been allocated for such purposes under Budget 2021.

"In fact, a total of RM24mil had been allocated for 2021 and is one of the initiatives to improve the direction of mental health and to boost facilities, as well as human resources for mental health under the ministry," the Health Minister said in reply to a supplementary question from Nor Azrina Surip (PH-Merbok) during Question Time.

Nor Azrina had asked the Health Ministry to explain the reason why there were no additional posts for psychiatric and mental health and a cut of RM31mil from the mental health budget.

Adham said that the ministry had collaborated with other ministries, including the Higher Education Ministry, Education Ministry and the Women and Family Development in its efforts to improve mental health among the people, especially the youth.

"The Healthy Mental Health (Minda Sihat Sekolah) programme had been implemented together with the Education Ministry involving 2,440 secondary schools and 7,880 primary schools to promote mental health awareness and to identify students who are experiencing such issues," he said.

Under the Program Expresi Anak Remaja Lestari (Pearl) that focuses on coping and resilience skills among students, Adham said that had also been implemented to fight bullying and high risk behaviours in schools.

Aside from that, the Health Ministry had collaborated with the Higher Education Ministry to implement the Healthy Undergraduates Programme (Prosis) in institutions of higher learning to promote healthy living.

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