KUALA LUMPUR: Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai says the Healthy Mind Screening Programme will be extended to all schools this year.
"We are concerned about this issue (mental health). A survey was conducted in all schools in collaboration with Ministry of Education to identify early problems and help those in need," he told reporters after opening Taman Medan Health Clinic here, Saturday.
The programme to train students to address mental problems was implemented as pilot project in six schools last year.
Liow said mental health cases increased last year compared to 2006, based on the National Health Morbidity Survey, conducted once every five years.
"In 2006, the prevalence of mental health problems among adults was 11.2 percent while children and adolescents reported 20.3 percent.
In 2011, the number of cases increased to about 12 percent for adults while children also recorded slight increase.
Asked if the high number of cases among children and adolescents was due to the school curriculum, Liow said it was due to their inability to handle stress.
Some RM80,000 was allocated to upgrade Taman Medan Health Clinic which extended operating hours from 5pm to 9.30pm (Mon-Fri) and until noon (Sat).
He did not rule out the construction of a hospital to cater for the 1.8mil population of Petaling district but said it would require detailed planning. - Bernama