Mentally ill need a social lifeline

Source: The Star Online

Learning to get by: Nurses conducting a domestic therapy class for recovering mental health patients as part of UMMC’s rehabilitation programme. Pic from the Star Online.

Learning to get by: Nurses conducting a domestic therapy class for recovering mental health patients as part of UMMC’s rehabilitation programme. Pic from the Star Online.

KUALA LUMPUR: Mental health patients who have just recovered from severe or long-term illnesses could be at risk of slipping back without psychosocial rehabilitation, a service that is sorely lacking in Malaysia.

According to the Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA), many hospitals and treatment centres focus more on symptom remission, but not all provide extended care to ensure patients can reintegrate into society.

MMHA deputy president Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj gave an example of a schizophrenic patient who is brought in for treatment and given appropriate psychotropic medications to cure hallucinations and delusions.

“After a period, his hallucinations and delusions go away and symptom remission is achieved, but what about the skills lost in the process, the low self-esteem, the interruption in studies or work life, and social awkwardness? Read more