Going mental?

It’s bittersweet to see more and more mainstream news outlets cover mental health issues (a step in the right direction) but while using language that perpetuates stereotypes and stigma. A recent NST headlines screamed : “[Exclusive] Overworked souls risk going mental and dying early”. The Oxford Dictionary defines “Going mental” as informal phrase that means […]

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a particular state of awareness cultivated through intentional practice. WHAT IS PARTICULAR ABOUT THIS STATE OF AWARENESS? 1. It is focused on the present moment. Our awareness is usually caught up in thoughts about the past or the future. We therefore cruise through life on autopilot unaware of what’s actually happening now in […]

How to heal from emotional injuries.

An emotional injury damages the attachment to the injurer, and damages the injured’s sense of self. The emotional injury can usually be named. It feels like a violation or betrayal of trust and happens within an ongoing relationship. Examples of emotional injuries are: abandonment, betrayal, neglect, humiliation, shaming and violation. How can you resolve emotional […]

The reasonable response to mental illness and violent crimes

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning Mental illness is often brought up as a possible cause when an incomprehensible violent crime is committed. The authorities usually just say “mental illness”  without further explanation or specification. Here are just some recent cases in Malaysia where the authorities have implicated mental illness: Assault and arson (http://malaysiandigest.com/news/654630-man-suspected-of-running-amok-killing-three-and-burning-down-home-remanded.html) Gun violence […]

Sexual recidivism is not a mental illness

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning The NST Online report of Selva Kumar Subbiah addressed the social stigma against convicts and rightly affirms the civil rights of all citizens regardless of one’s past. Unfortunately, the article ends with this: “The American Supreme Court has interpreted this recidivist tendency as a mental health problem and sentences of […]

Mental health in prison

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning In the past week, there has been a great deal of attention on the incarceration of certain prominent activists, leading many Malaysians to protest against SOSMA and its application. Since 2000, the prison population in Malaysia has doubled and many of these offenders do not have anyone to speak up on their […]

Placing suicide in context

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning In 2005, the Ministry of Health (MOH) conceded that the rate of suicide is severely underestimated and that the true rate of suicide ranges from 10. 5 – 13.5 people per 100000 (Malaysia Health 2005, p. 162). Below is a screenshot of the summary posted in the report.   How does the rate […]

Mental health status in Malaysia

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning Did you know that 1 in 3 Malaysians are suffering from mental health issues? RELATE is going to take you through the report released by the Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health, Malaysia. The measure: General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) It has been used by the National Health and Morbidity Survey since 1996. […]

Is mental illness fashionable?

Mental illness is not “madness“. By Dr. Chua Sook Ning It is not just being misunderstood. Mental illness causes distress and impairs someone’s functioning in important areas of his/her life. Perhaps there are a blessed few who are able to use their illnesses to achieve great heights but most people suffering from a mental illness are […]

Taking suicide intentions seriously

When you read a report that says Malaysian youth feel suicidal about their jobs, you may be tempted to dismiss the report – “youth always exaggerate!” or “we’ve all been there. they will get used to it”. What are the chances someone would actually go ahead with it? Don’t people just say “I feel like […]