World Mental Health Day

Suicides or suicide attempts are caused by complex reasons which are not easily understood. Apart from depression and other mental health problems, suicides and suicidal behaviour are caused by a combination of social, psychological, biological, economic, environmental, behavioural and cultural factors. However, suicides can be prevented especially if the person with mental health problems receive early treatment. The remarks were made by the Minister of Health who also highlighted that as a caring society, the public should change their perception of mental health and people with mental health issues. This is to enable cooperation in preventing suicides.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doktor Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar clarified the matter in a message in conjunction with World Mental Health Day that carries the theme, "Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention." Yang Berhormat also shared statistics from the Royal Brunei Police Force which indicate the rate of suicides in the country has risen from 1.9 for every one hundred thousand people in 2015 to 2.6 for the same number of people in 2018. The Minister said although the number was still low compared to other countries in the world, it did not mean it should be taken lightly.

Yang Berhormat said Brunei's society should take more effective preventive measures to address the situation before it became a serious and uncontrollable issue. The Minister added as a community that desires inclusiveness and is non-discriminatory, we should be more open to face the mental health issues and handle them through approaches befitting our helpful and respectful culture. Yang Berhormat added society should ensure a conducive environment that encourages persons with mental health problems to obtain help rather than feel ashamed, isolated or frustrated.

Besides that the Minister of Health said the mainstream media and social media also play a role in preventing suicides. This includes ensuring correct and useful information as well as encouraging the affected persons to seek assistance. According to Yang Berhormat, the government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam through the Ministry of Health continues to implement efforts to promote good mental health and prevent suicides. This includes organising programmes such as 'Mind Your Mind' and Bully Free Brunei. This year, Yang Berhormat continued, the Ministry of health has introduced the Talian Harapan 145, the hope hotline to provide help and advice to those experiencing emotional difficulty or crisis, including thinking of committing suicide.

Source: Radio Television Brunei