|Tuesday, 09 October 2012 21:50|
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Ismail Kasim (BN-Arau) urged the government to immediately identify the causes of the worrying increase in mental health patients in the country, which included children and teenagers."A comprehensive study must be carried out to identify the factors for this rising trend year after year," he said speaking during the 2013 Supply Bill debate at the Dewan Rakyat here Tuesday.
"We don't want this area to be neglected when the country is progressing. It's a serious matter," he added.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai recently announced the National Health and Morbidity Survey which showed that the prevalence of mental health problems among children and teenagers had risen from 13 per cent in 1996 to 20 per cent last year.
He said the percentage was expected to increase in the next ten years due to the influence of internet and communication technology and compounded by parents' lack of time.
Greater awareness on mental health problems should be provided to the public, especially parents, to enable them to detect early symptoms, said Ismail.
He also emphasised the need to set up Psychiatric Departments in every district and to increase mental health experts.