Malaysia Initiates Program To Aid Workers Mental Health



The Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources launched the Occupational Mental First Aid program in response to the growing recognition of the significance of mental wellness at work. By enabling staff members to actively aid peers who are experiencing mental health issues, this program promotes a more encouraging and effective work environment.

Steven Sim, Malaysia’s Minister of Human Resources, recognized the negative perception around mental health issues in the country and emphasized the significance of mental health in the professional environment. He stressed the importance of increasing public awareness, particularly among employers and workers, to promote a culture that supports and promotes seeking treatment for mental health concerns.

Related link: Singapore Launches Network To Promote Mental Health At Work

Sim made it clear according to WHO, mental health conditions are expected to have a greater impact on determining a person’s suitability for employment than cardiovascular disorders. However, the 2022 National Occupational Accident and Disease Statistics Report notably underreported psychological reasons due to a lack of awareness.

The ministry has set aside RM12 million (US$2.5 million) to train some 10,000 psychological first-aiders, including workers in the public sector, in order to close this gap. The goal of the training is to provide participants the ability to spot early indicators of psychological stress and offer the right kind of assistance.

Sim emphasized the initiative’s advantages for employers, which include more output, better performance from workers, and lower absenteeism. The program also aims to improve participants’ communication skills and determine which routes are best for recommending people who are struggling with mental health issues.

Further promoting workers’ wellness, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) launched the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to recognize and treat mental health concerns early, according to the New Straits Times.

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