World No Tobacco Day 2018

Again we are revisited by May 31st, the day the World Health Organisation declared to be World No Tobacco Day.

For 2018, theme is “Smoking and Heart Disease”. This allows us to take stock of the current situation where smoking is the number ONE public health problem worldwide, killing half to two thirds of its users. It is also the leading risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as hearth disease. More importantly, quitting smoking allow us to recover heart function and some studies have found that quitting for 15 years and more essentially results in the risk to reduce to a non-smoker. How cool is that.

Aptly, World No Tobacco Day falls in the month of Ramadan where Muslims the world over are fasting from dawn to dusk. What great timing to attempt a quit attempt! It’s just bit easier as many are not smoking during the day and more are trying to quit die to spiritual reasons during this month.

Quitting on own is a possibility but it’s just that bit easier with aid. Partaking in is one way to do and in this portal you will be introduced to ways to quit and also quit smoking centers across Malaysia. Just visit the one nearest to you.

Finally, I wanted to also share a newspaper clipping of smoking among school children and what we should be doing about it. raising tobacco prices to make them out of reach and ensuring that illegal cigarettes are not present is but only one way.



Working with Psyberr

Hope everyone is having a great Monday and the fasting is not too hard on you.

I wanted to make a short announcement on the work that I am doing with the team – psyberr. They are a bunch of young and enthusiastic medical doctors and others who are keen in producing material for mental health awareness. I was really blown away by their work in creating a depression video (included below) which was just so simple and relatable during our 2016 Mental Health Art Exhibition. After watching it, I’m sure you will want some more!

I am officially working with them on creating more material for all of you to further promote mental health. I think they are wonderful. As part of my work with the podcasts and other campaigns, they had decided to make me an avatar too! How cool is that! I have taken the liberty to embellish it a bit more so you know where to go i.e. to the podcasts hosted by Raku. However, you can also use iTunes or soundcloud, where it’s hosted.

Hope you enjoy the video and I am looking forward to many more of these videos too.

MyDrs cameo

Hi there everyone again

It’s been a hectic few weeks after returning from a trip to New Zealand after so long.

This day, what I wanted to share is my short appearance in a series called MyDrs which was recorded by another who has kindly shared the link.

This is one way to disseminate information about mental health and from the limited feedback of patients and friends, they found it very helpful. I too hope that you all find this clip to your liking and I sincerely hope that it helps with the mental health promotion that we want to do.

Do enjoy the clip, it’s on depression and my thoughts on cyberbullying are/was also recorded

Mental Health Support for Students


Thank you to Berita Harian for sharing my thoughts on this issue. It was published late last week (3/5/2018).

University life is often a new experience for many people. I remember the first time I went to university those many years ago and recall vividly the feeling. Yes I was excited but, I was also scared. Having studied far away during that time, I was also rather isolated.This was before the introduction of Watsapp and Facebook, which meant, the only way to call home was either through collect call or by buying one of those prepaid cards. Those were the days.

More importantly was that it was so easy to feel lonely and depressed particularly for those of us who are at risk. People with a previous mental health issue, those with a family member with a mental illness, those undergoing other life stressors on top of that move to university, these people are at increased risk of developing a problem.Help, unfortunately, might not be as easy to obtained due to the distance and change in culture. Therefore, it is imperative that you know where your help is. In my alma mater, I remember during orientation, we were introduced to the student health and also support for mental illness. We were encouraged to attend.

I’d like to make the same offer to my students in University of Malaya, and I do know other local institutions have the same services. The extent of the service might be less, but the service is available for all to use. Do make sure you know where to find help when you need it.

Back to my students, we have a number of services which one can attend. Among them are:-

  1. Student Health Services
  2. Counselling Unit in Perdanasiswa
  3. Outpatient Psychiatric Services in University Malaya Medical Center

If you need help and don’t know where to go still, I’ve been told you can talk to your Collage Master and they will be able to assist.

Should you wish to use outside services, contacting BefriendersKL is also an option.

Finally for the more discreet, you can access our psychiatric services through University Malaya Specialist Center located at the Petaling Jaya Gate of the university.

Hope you find the help and spread the word around

#mentalmalaysia #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthMY