Thursday, October 9, 2008


Depression will be second killer after heart ailment


While Malaysia is set to become a developed nation status by 2020, that year will also see depression becoming the second biggest killer, after heart coronary problem. The World Health Organisation (WHO) gave depression this unenviable ranking, followed by other main mental problems comprising restlessness, insomnia and suicide. The Health Ministry’s Health Education Director, Abdul Jabar Ahmad, said as the rising trend of mental health problems had become more and more disturbing, greater attention should be focused on the illness. “The Ministry has been organising various workshops and training sessions to educate the public on ways to tackle the stress, including reinforcing their skills and confidence,” he said. Abdul Jabar was speaking at the close of ‘Let’s Handle Stress Carnival 2008’, in conjunction with the national-level World Mental Health Day 2008 celebration at the Kuala Kangsar Malay College here yesterday. Abdul Jabar also said there were four institutions and 29 public hospitals nationwide which offered psychiatry services by 88 psychiatrists, two psychologists and 77 counsellors. For the past two years, he said, 62 family health specialists had also been trained to identify and treat patients suffering from depression. Meanwhile, he said 373 food poisoning cases were recorded by the Ministry in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 10 per cent as compared to the same period last year. He said among the main factors for food poisoning included lowlevel of hygiene consciousness among the food operators and poorlevel of cleanliness at the food premises. - Bernama