Malaysian youths' mental health status at moderate level, study finds


PUTRAJAYA: The overall mental health of Malaysian youths is moderately satisfactory, a study by the Institute for Youth Research Malaysia (IYRES) has found.

The Malaysian Youth Mental Health Index 2023 (MyMHI23) report said the average score for those aged between 15 and 30 was 71.91.

This served as a valuable early indication of potential mental health problems, the report said.

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MyMHI23 involved 5,867 respondents across seven domains – lifestyle, environment, personal characteristics, life experiences, social support, coping mechanism, and healthy mind – supported by 28 indicators.

“The lifestyle domain recorded the highest score at 88.51 indicating a satisfactory level, while environment had the lowest score with 65.45, representing a moderately satisfactory level,” read the report, launched at a hotel here on Monday (April 22).

The score used values ranging from 0 to 100 with a score of zero (0) being the lowest possible and 100 the highest.

The higher the score, the lower the risk of youth facing mental health issues and vice versa, the report added.

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The report, launched by Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, also identified intervention measures to improve mental health among youth.

It suggested creating less crowded living spaces with adequate basic facilities to promote a stress-free environment; increasing youth access to mental health services; and promoting a healthy lifestyle, including providing a healthy diet and physical regimen; among others.

MyMHI23 is the first index in Malaysia to measure youths' mental health status, in collaboration with the Youth and Sports Ministry and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), with support from relevant stakeholders.

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The collaboration aimed to raise awareness of mental health issues affecting youth in the country.

The full report can be downloaded from: https://www.iyres.gov.my/penyelidikan/senarai-penyelidikan

Also present at the launch of the index was Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

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