Press Statements

Ministry of Health launches mental health guidebook

Date: 9 December 2019

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians will now be able to tell when someone is on the verge of having a mental disorder and seek professional help early.

Yesterday, the Health Ministry launched a handbook, titled The Mental Health Book, that contains advice on how to recognise the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness as well as the treating and managing of the ailment.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said one in three Malaysians have mental health problems.

“As such, validated knowledge for the community is one of the most important steps to promote greater understanding of mental health issues,” he said his opening remarks at the launch here yesterday.

The handbook, a private-public effort, will provide a credible resource to guide Malaysians to deal with mental health issues, he added.

Malaysian Psychiatric Association president Dr Hazli Zakaria said understanding the barriers to the way one could seek help would ensure prompt access to mental health services.

The book, which is written for easy-reading and supplemented with visuals, touches on four mental disorders — depression, anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia.

Additionally, information is provided on how to reach out to someone with mental health problems, steps to manage one’s mental well-being, and a directory listing of mental health services in Malaysia.

The book can be accessed at

On a separate note, Dzulkefly said that he would have an audience with the Sultan of Johor tomorrow to update the ruler on repairs to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) which was burned down three years ago. Six patients were killed in the fire.

Johor Tunku Mahkota Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim had earlier expressed his disappointment over the lack of effort by the federal government’s to repair the intensive care unit.

On the legal suit filed by a victim’s family against the government over the incident, Dzulkefly gave an assurance that the findings would be disclosed soon.


This article was first published in The Sun Daily on 3 December 2019.