According to a report by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health, almost 30% of adults in the country are diagnosed with a mental health illness. But this figure would be much higher if more Malaysians were coming forward. People with a mental health illness admitted that stigma and discrimination can make their difficulties worse and recovery slow.
Several studies have found that social isolation, poor housing and homelessness, unemployment, and poverty are among the few linked to mental illnesses. It’s time for society to break the silence on mental health and confront what’s really going on. In this episode, we talk to Hazel Saw and Joachim Then on how the pandemic has affected conversations surrounding mental health, about how their respective communities react to this particular topic, and how we can advocate for better mental health awareness.
Hazel also provides relevant psychological assessments, utilizing a variety of recognized instruments to evaluate patients with various psychological concerns. Through these assessments, she had also provided caregivers support, and appropriate recommendations to assist clients with their mental health issues, in their learning as well as in behavioral management.
Beyond these working experiences, Hazel is also passionate about advocating against human trafficking in Malaysia. She had volunteered with NGOs for advocacy works as well as outreaches to meet needs of trafficked victims and sex workers in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. At present, Hazel is also involved in volunteer work with mental health-based NGO here in Sarawak.
Hazel believes in helping individuals embrace their well-being in entirety. She believes in the importance of embracing both positive and negative emotions as a part of one’s self instead of denying parts of self which are deemed as undesirable. Hazel also believes in viewing an individual from the biological, psychological, social, spiritual and systemic perspectives, deeming that these are integral parts in contribution to a person’s mental health well-being.