KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 – Caretaker Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today launched the National Centre of Excellence for Mental Health (NCEMH) in Cyberjaya.
The public mental health facility under the Ministry of Health (MOH) will function as a centre of control and coordination of mental health services and sharing of information across public and private agencies, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“One of its main scopes is intervention and a Mental Health Crisis Helpline, a value-added service to existing psychosocial support services,” Khairy said at the officiating ceremony of the launch of NCEMH.
“The launch of NCEMH will be able to reduce the gap in services and increase the sharing of mental health expert resources by specialists through a bio-psychosocial and also spiritual approach.”
Khairy said NCEMH will be operated by 54 staff across different professions, starting with 30 staffers running services in the facility.
“This centre of excellence will also be a local referral and training centre, including accreditation and credentialing of mental health programmes.”
He added that NCEMH will be a platform of strategic collaboration between government and private agencies, as well as NGOs, in planning and implementing promotion and prevention activities, especially social and rehabilitation aspects for target groups.
NGOs can use NCEMH to collaborate with MOH on mental health advocacy and prevention programmes.
“MOH welcomes NGOs to make this Centre of Excellence as their second home. Initial discussions with NGOs on regular activities in the community have already begun,” Khairy said.
He noted that NCEMH is organising a Mental Health Chit Chat awareness programme tomorrow with the Malaysian Mental Care Association.
“In line with modernisation trends, the digitalisation of mental health services will also be among NCEMH’s initiatives. A mental health hub on a digital platform will be created to increase mental health surveillance activities.”
Khairy also expressed hopes that MOH would be able to increase its mental health human resources, such as counsellors at primary health care facilities.