The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations have officially begun this week and many of us were reminded of how it felt when we used to burn the midnight oil preparing for the papers.
It has become a norm for students to go through stress leading up to an important exam, whether it is due to family expectations or personal goals.
However, the number of students experiencing mental health problems because of this is getting higher and higher. And that is alarming.
The Health Ministry conducted a mental health screening on Form Four students nationwide
and found that a large number of them are suffering from mental stress.
According to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, more than 100,000 students
admitted that they have mental health issues because of personal or family issues, as reported by The Sun
Generally, Form Four students tend to get stressed out preparing for the SPM examinations in the following year. But they often don’t receive enough support from their families in coping with stress.
Subramaniam said it is important to empower these students through awareness and education and help them handle whatever challenges they may be facing, as reported by The Sun.
The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) screening was conducted under the Health Ministry’s Healthy Mind Programme
among Form Four students in 2,343 schools nationwide.
“DASS screening is conducted to check the status of the mental health of secondary school students to gauge the level of stress, anxiety and depression,” Subramaniam said, as quoted by The Sun.
“If the level of stress, anxiety and depression is found to be high, the students will be referred to counselling services or to health clinics for further treatment by family health specialists.”
There are various mental health programmes that have been implemented in all health clinics around Malaysia to detect potential mental problems, including screenings to detect early stages of stress, anxiety and depression among those who may be at risk of mental problems.
Remember, there is a difference between mental problems and mental illnesses. Either way, don’t ever take this issue lightly, especially among teenagers.