KUALA LUMPUR: Mental illness is a reminder of another side of life which should not be overlooked.
In saying this, Mental Health Council advisory member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye felt that the impact of this problem on individuals, their families and society needed to be addressed.
"Constant initiatives should be carried out to promote good mental health among Malaysians for a sound social development," he said in a statement yesterday.
"We also need to treat people with mental disorders with compassion and not act with prejudice."
He said the leading causes of the disorder included depression and substance abuse.
In Malaysia, the third National Health Morbidity Survey 2006 found that 11.2 per cent of adults in the country had some form of psychological or mental disorder at any one time.
It also showed that 20.3 per cent of children and adolescents, aged between 5 and 16, were facing mental stress.
It further showed that 1.7 per cent of adults had suicidal tendencies, 0.9 per cent had planned to commit suicide and 0.5 per cent had attempted suicide.
Health Ministry statistics showed that 1,156 people took their lives from 2007 to 2010, bringing the suicide ratio to 1.3 in every 100,000 people aged between 24 and 44.