It was a full house at the forum, the session was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), the Malaysian Society for Occupational Safety and Health (MSOSH) as well as Third Party Administrators, corporate and industrial leaders. Approximately 100 guests from the public and private sector, as well as civil society has attended the forum.
The event was officiated by Yang Berhormat Puan Hannah Yeoh, Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development. In her keynote speech, Yang Berhormat Puan Hannah Yeoh emphasized the pressing need to reduce the stigma on mental health issues within the community and the important role that general practitioners can play as the first line of care on mental health. YB also shared that the mental health issues in the country is increasing and the age is getting younger. This is indeed a worrying issues in Malaysia.
Delivering a keynote address at the session, Chairman and Managing Director of Qualitas Medical Group, Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Dr Noorul Ameen Mohamed Ishack said, “Mental health has been extensively discussed by key authorities, non-profit organisations for many years. Sadly, individuals suffering from depression and anxiety are reluctant to seek help as they fear the stigma of being stereotyped. The time has come for immediate practical actions to be taken by all stakeholders – The general practitioners should be empowered to play a more active and positive role in the management of mental health wellness; and for that, changes need to be made by the Government in empowering general practitioners to act as the gatekeeper on mental health.”