Journal : Mental Health in Malaysia - Coggle Diagram
Journal : Mental Health in Malaysia
2. The History of Mental Health Services in Malaysia
Malaysian mental health service is a relatively young industry yet the number of mental health patients has
grown rapidly for the past decades.
During that time, rural or remote areas that had no connection with these industries were excluded from health care provision.
Initially, city health care was largely based on a system created to provide health servicesto plantation workers,
whose health was of utmost importance for industries such as rubber, oil palm plantations and tin mines.
Immediately after independence, the health care systems in Malaysia improved remarkably to embark provisions and institutions of medical care services.
Medical facilities in East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak)
were less well equipped and understaffed than those in West Malaysia (Peninsular)due to the lack of basic infrastructure and medical personnel (Crabtree & Chong, 2000).
The set up of the first ‘lunatic asylum’ in
small scale at the Penang Hospital in the north of Peninsular Malaysia in the late 1890s witnessed the start of mental health service.
The revolution of mental health care provision in the country started when the first mental health ward was
opened at the Penang General Hospital in 1958. That was the first time mental health service users were treated
in a non-psychiatric hospital (Haque, 2000).
3. Concepts of Mental Health in Malaysia
Malaysia,the Ministry of Health (1997: 2) has defined mental health as “the capacity of the individual, the group and environment to interact with one another to promote subjective well-being and optimal functioning, and the use of cognitive, affective and relational abilities, towards the achievement of individual and collective goals consistent with justice”.
The definition by Ministry of Health shows more
This all traces back to the context of multi-cultural country of Malaysia, with each culture thriving on caring and giving, providing trust and social support, and in many ways, always generous towards those who are needy and disabled (Deva, 2004).
4. Mental Health Policy
Malaysia’s mental health policy was based on the British and Indian mental health laws in the early 1900s
Both West and East Malaysia introduced their own laws to govern mental health.
These included the Mental Health Disorders Ordinance of 1952, which covered the Peninsular; the Lunatic Ordinance of Sabah of 1953; and the Mental Health Ordinance of Sarawak of 1961.
In 1993, the Care Centres Act was introduced as a supplement to all previous acts on mental health. These acts addressed mental health issues separately and were only relevant to a certain part of Malaysia.
It is clear that these acts were not comprehensive and remained outdated for a long period (Deva, 2004).
5. Current Issues and Future Development
Community mental health care has become an accepted form of treatment of a person with severe mental illness
in the National Mental Health Act, 2001.
Malaysia has also moved towards treating psychiatry service users in community-based care, especially in their own house supported by their family.
In 2000, the Ministry of Health launched the psychosocial treatment programmes in community clinics.
Then, the National Mental Health Act was amended to include a new strategy promoting community mental health care services, which resulted in many mental health service users being discharged into the community with support available at the community clinics and general hospitals.
The current mental health policy supports the continuing process of deinstitutionalisation, that is, the movement from institutional to community care along with the integration of psychiatric care into the mainstream general health care system (Ministry of Health, 1997).
Generally, community mental health services can be divided into two categories, formal and informal (WHO,
Formal community mental health services usually link with primary care services and informal care provided in community. While, informal community mental health services may be provided by local community members other than general health professionals including traditional healers, community support groups and NGOs.
1. Overview of Mental Health in Malaysia
Malaysia sits at the heart of South East Asia with a population of 23 million people of diverse ethnicity, cultures
and religious backgrounds.
In 2000, it was reported that about 10.7 percent of the population had been diagnosed
with mental illness (Jamaiyah, 2000).
The prevalence of mental illness in the population between 9.6 per cent and 35 percent, respectively (Crabtree & Chong, 2000).