I had this conversation yesterday about mental health. I just realised that October is a Mental Health month. Mental health is as equally important as physical health. 

I have seen so many suicides due to depression in the news. We have seen from the lights of Anthony Bourdain to the latest one Sulli – a Korean star. Based on data from the World Health Organization, there are 800,000 suicides in a year. This translates to one suicide every 40 seconds.

What can we do?

For me – the first and most important thing to do is to acknowledge that we have a problem. Once that has been done, we can then seek the necessary help. 

For Malaysia, people can call Befrienders – +60379568145.

I read this from Befrienders website:

  • Suicide is often a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
  • When we are depressed, we tend to see things through the very narrow perspective of the present moment. A week or a month later, things may look completely different.
  • Most people who once thought about killing themselves are now glad to be alive. They say they didn’t want to end their lives – they just wanted to stop the pain.

And they advise that when you have suicidal thoughts, talk to a friend, or talk to a befriender or seek professional help. And, this goes back to basics where we need to overcome the fear of acknowledging that we have issues.

One of the social stigmas in Malaysia is that Mental Health is not a serious issue. In fact, because of cultural embarrassment – we tend to bury this under the rug and more often than not, come out with other excuses. 

I don’t know if I have depression or mental health issues. I tend to live a happy life – regardless of whether I have a problem or not. To me, any problems can be solved. If there is something that I cannot control, there’s no point stressing over it. Life goes on. That’s why some people regard me as a person who in Malay – “Tak Makan Saman”. Which means nothing can affect me. Nevertheless, I am not perfect myself. I do have issues of my own and try to resolve it as much as I can. Anyway – that is all for today.


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