Stress in Malaysian Students

1. Back from attending a workshop with medical students on stress. Questionnaires were distributed; students were mapped on sources of stress and how they cope with it. Before it was just delivering lectures which I refuse to give any more.

‘Stress level among school students high’

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry’s pilot project ‘Healthy Mind Programme Dealing with Stress Among School Children’ shows the stress level among students is high.

Its minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said out of 6,540 students screened, 17.1 per cent suffered severe anxiety symptoms, 5.2 per cent had depression problems while 4.8 per cent were stressed.

He said 2,345 of the students also had undergo the mental health intervention while 279 teachers were trained to identify and handle emotional, behavioral and mental problems among students.

“The ministry is working how to help such students to cope with stress problems although there is no specific study done to identify the risk factors,” he told reporters after chairing the Mental Health Promotion Advisory Council meeting here yesterday.

Liow said that parents would be also called in for assistance if the students were identified having stress, anxiety and depression problems whereby the cases would be referred to hospital for further treatment.

The project in collaboration with Education Ministry was started in March and was carried out at six schools nationwide, namely Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Datuk Haji Ahmad Badawi Pulau Pinang, SMK Simpang Bekoh Jasin Melaka, Sekolah Menengah (SM) Sains Teluk Intan Perak, SM St Michael Penampang Sabah, Maktab Rendah Sains Mara Gemencheh Negeri Sembilan and SM Jenis Kebangsaan Katholik Petaling Jaya Selangor.

Liow added that so far, 637 government clinics had implemented screening services to identify mental health problems while 138 doctors and 549 paramedics had received mental health training nationwide.
— Bernama

2. Not surprising because the study on teachers found them stress too. According to a cross-sectional study conducted by Hadi AA et. al. on 580 secondary school teachers in Kota Bharu District using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS 21) and Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) found the prevalence of stress as 34.0% with 17.4% of them experienced mild stress.

3. Well if both student and teacher are distress, how are we going to run the school? Let us go beyond paper chasing mentality. Previous Minister of Education (MOE) was talking about school-based assessment in trying to curb too many exams at the national level. The current MOE @ DPM is rewarding principal for their best school performance at national level. I don’t know whether the previous policy had been reversed by the present MOE.

If that is the case, let us pray for the best!

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