Don't let workplace mental health issues go unheeded, says Lee Lam Thye

PETALING JAYA: Work-related mental health issues among Malaysians, especially stress, is a serious concern and needs to be addressed urgently, says the Alliance for a Safe Community.

The NGO said no workplace is immune to mental disorders and their impact in psychological, social and economic terms are high.

"Mental health should no longer be ignored. On the contrary it should be given adequate attention in relation to other business in any organisation," said the organisation's chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye in a statement on Friday (April 12).

He said employee performance, frequent illness, absenteeism, accidents and staff turnover are all affected by their mental health status.

"Employers should use safety and health committees at the workplace to examine and identify the problems relating to mental health and formulate a sustainable programme to address it.

"Psychiatric disorders and other forms of mental illness are tragic reminders of another side of life which must not be overlooked in our quest to become a fully industrialised nation.

Lee said in previous years, mental health has been a topic of low priority for the government and the community as compared to other health issues.

"Increasingly, as reflected worldwide, mental health has gained prominence.

"On the welfare services front, the government should include the mentally ill in the disabled persons category.

"They should be accorded opportunities in employment to help them return to the mainstream and not be a burden to the society," said Lee.

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