IT is no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a disruptor that has brought about severe social, economic and public health repercussions – from shuttering small businesses to physical distancing and following strict standard operating procedures whenever we leave our homes.
However, it has also introduced a pivotal change in modern history: the rise in mental health issues on a global scale.
According to a World Health Organization survey conducted in the second quarter of 2020, more than 60% of countries worldwide reported disruptions in mental health services.
Meanwhile, statistics showed an increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression among disadvantaged groups, especially those with low socio-economic status, low education and self-employed groups, notably women.
Closer to home, Malaysia was not spared either. Reports spread across the media on the pandemic’s contribution to an increase in mental disorders, alongside heavily impacting those with severe mental illness.
This has further cast a new and much-needed light on the importance of enhancing mental well-being and care in Malaysia, primarily in the provision of mental health services and patient care, including health service delivery concerns.
Therefore, it is important to not only ensure that locals have good access to mental healthcare resources, but also safeguard access to mental health services, respond quickly to mental healthcare needs and establish innovative forms of mental healthcare delivery.
In light of this, Hospital Permai Johor Bahru, in partnership with Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed), will be hosting the 21st Johor Mental Health Convention (JMHC) 2022 from July 20-21.
The collaboration is to encourage the push for improved access to mental healthcare in Malaysia and to also to elucidate the various new perspectives of mental health issues to medical professionals and students.
The two-day virtual event, entitled ‘Minding Malaysia: Progressing Positively for a Resilient Tomorrow’, will bring together national and international mental health experts to share and discuss their standpoints on mental health issues.
These issues include current trends and updates across the spectrum of diagnosis, management, rehabilitation, as well as services for mental health and mental disorders during the pandemic and beyond.
By encouraging more active discussions about mental healthcare among policymakers and medical professionals, it is hoped that mental healthcare delivery and patient care in the country can be optimised, leading to improved access to high-quality mental healthcare for all patients, particularly the most vulnerable.
For more information on the mental health convention, visit https://jmhc.com.my.