Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman will jump start a national discussion on the mental health state of Malaysian youth, following the suicide of a 16-year old teenager in Batu Kawah, Sarawak.
"I am genuinely worried about the state of our youth's mental health. It's a national issue which must be taken seriously.
"More important is to jump start a national discussion so that we can collectively resolve the issue," he told reporters after attending the National Youth Day 2019 celebration here on Wednesday (May 15).
Syed Saddiq said he would be organising an informal open discussion during his visit to International Islamic University Malaysia at 5.30pm on Friday (May 17).
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"I will be hosting a dialogue and have invited several experts to sit on the panel," he added.
He lamented that most Malaysians tend to brush aside mental health issues and say it is "fake".
"It is not just about suicide – mental health affects the quality of life and health of our youth," he said.
He noted that six out of ten Malaysian youth have mental health issues, while a majority of suicide victims are young.
Malaysian Psychiatric Association patron Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye was among those calling for more to be done to address mental health issues.
He suggested setting up an alert system to notify concerned parties of suicidal postings on social media.
Calls to deal with mental health comes in the wake of the death of a 16-year-old girl in Sarawak who apparently committed suicide, after 69% of pollsters on her Instagram account supported her decision to end her own life.
It was reported that the teenager fell from the third floor of a shoplot.