Malaysia to set up national mental health care centre
The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has welcomed plans for a national mental health care centre and has hailed the increase in budget allocation for the country’s health ministry.
In a statement, MEF president Syed Hussain Syed Husman cited figures from a 2015 health ministry report showing that one in three Malaysians – about 29% of the population – suffered from mental health issues.
He added, “MEF has raised the issue of mental health many times and is indeed happy that the prime minister has taken the issue of the people’s mental well-being as a priority.”
The establishment of such a centre, Syed Hussain noted, would help to effectively manage and address the mental health issues faced by Malaysians, particularly employees.
He voiced hope that the centre would one day be a reference on mental health issues for the South-East Asia region, as well as Asia Pacific, and encouraged employers to work with the government to form a council and lay out plans to address mental health issues.
“All the stakeholders should work together for the well-being of the people. When the people are healthy, productivity increases and employers, employees and the people will be happy. The national assets are really the people. We must do all we can to protect our core assets, the people,” he said.
The health ministry’s allocation in the RM372.3 billion (US$80.2 billion) budget for next year was raised from RM32.4 billion (US$6.9 billion) to RM36.1 billion (US$10.8 billion), reported Malaysia Now.