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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Joint collaboration to tackle issue of suicide - religious minister

 


The government, through collaboration with various ministries and agencies, will tackle the issue of depression that has led to suicidal behaviour among some individuals, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.

He said the issue of depression leading to suicides had been discussed in the past few months by various parties, including his ministry, the Health Ministry and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

“We will also collaborate and do our very best. Because out there, there are many religious people who say their method is the best while counsellors say theirs is the best. So to me, it’s better we all pool our efforts together,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters at the Tepoh constituency service centre in Kuala Terengganu today.

Zulkifli said he also planned to meet individuals suffering from overwhelming depression or stress to better understand and try to solve their problems.

Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a statement yesterday, urged Malaysians to be more aware and conscious of their family members and people around them to identify early signs of depression that could trigger suicidal behaviours.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic had deeply impacted the mental health of every individual worldwide, including in Malaysia.

He said the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) found there was an increase in suicide cases reported in 2020, with 631 compared to 609 in 2019. As of March 2021, the police received 336 suicide reports.

Zulkifli also said various methods could be used to ensure the targeted group received immediate help, including raising a white flag in the front of their house.

“We will do everything. We will pray, we will carry out initiatives, we will go to the ground and, most importantly, we need to save as many as we can from being mired in issues like overwhelming stress.

“For now, I won’t say whether it’s right or wrong (to raise a white flag). What is better is how our assistance can reach the targeted people,” he said when asked to comment on the campaign to raise a white flag in front of one's house if someone required food or assistance as has gone viral on various social media platforms.

Zulkifli earlier presented 200 packs of food and basic necessities from Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim) to Tepoh assemblyperson Hishamuddin Abdul Karim to be distributed to those in need.

Bernama

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