Niosh wants country to have own well-being index

Niosh wants country to have own well-being index

By ESTHER LANDAU LUMPUR: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) has suggested that the country should have its own index to access the psychological well-being of the people, in particular the nation’s workforce.

Its chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the assessment could be implemented for the development of the Malaysian psychological well-being index.

“It is time for Malaysia to have an index to measure the well-being of the people’s psychology.

“We need to ensure those who contribute to the nation’s development are positive, mature and have the ability to be productive, creative and innovative,” he said in a statement issued today.

He said there is a need to step up efforts to produce workers with physically, emotionally and spiritually balanced.

He also said the success of the nation is not only determined by economic factors however also human capital based on professionalism, intelligence and good mental health development.

“In recent decades, our community is experiencing depression. The figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from a condition known as clinical depression.

“Depression is not given the same attention as other chronic diseases and it’s time to treat depression like serious illness,” he added.

He said the primary health services were also not equipped with facilities or had best practices in identifying and treating depression like other chronic illnesses.

Lee also pointed out that the rise in suicide cases should be a cause for concern and the need for awareness on the matter is crucial.

He said the public should seek immediate medical assistance if they are feeling depressed or desperate.

“The problem of depression is getting worse due to the stigma and community assessment. Stigma makes many patients ashamed to seek medical help and prefer to conceal their symptoms so as not to be categorised as mental patients,” he said.

Lee said the success of eradicating negative stigma in depression would save lives and it is the responsibility of each party to build a more humane society in addressing depression.

He said the government should also step up efforts to provide quality health services to address mental health problems in urban and rural areas. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd