Bandar Seri Begawan - The Department of Psychiatry under the Ministry of Health (MoH) strives to improve the mental health of our population by providing a wide range of services at hospitals and in the community by working in partnership with primary healthcare services and community agencies, and by engaging patients and their families in order to provide holistic and continuous good quality care.
Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Mohd Yusof yesterday launched the Assisted Living Unit (Rumah Sinar Sejahtera), the first initiative established here for mental patients. The launch was held in conjunction with 'World Mental Health Day 2012,' which this year is themed 'Depression: A Global Crisis.'
World Mental Health Day is marked in October annually. It was initiated by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992 as a means of promoting mental health worldwide. World Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues and promotes open discussion of mental disorders and investments in prevention, promotion and treatment.
Depression is a mental illness characterised by low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration.
Depression often comes with symptoms of anxiety. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual's ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities.
At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Around the world, almost one million lives are lost yearly due to suicide, which translates to 3,000 suicide deaths everyday.
The worldwide lifetime prevalence of depression is estimated to be approximately 9-10%. This means that nearly 40,000 of our population are likely to suffer from depression at some point in their lives.
Depression can affect anyone at any time in his life. It can be associated with physical illness, unemployment, poverty and financial hardship, childhood abuse and domestic abuse.
Often, people suffering from depression do not recognise that they have an illness and do not seek help until their condition has become worse. The stigma associated with mental illness often prevents sufferers and their families from seeking help.
Prejudice and misunderstanding regarding mental illness are still pervasive in our society, leading to the isolation of people suffering from mental illness.
This is unfortunate as mental illness such as depression can be treated effectively using a combination of medication, supportive and psychological therapies, as well as addressing social difficulties such as providing financial support.
This holistic treatment also requires input from other services such as social work, welfare and education.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin