Sunday, September 27, 2009


Hi there.... October 10th is a very special day for me personally. It's my birthday!
If you are wondering how many candles will be on my vegan birthday cake.... sorry, I am not telling! Hehehe....someone told me once that a woman never age after 30. Now, that's a very biggie hint!!!

Anyhow, Oct 10th is also the WORLD'S MENTAL HEALTH DAY .... and here's an update on what's it all about.... have a read...


Title : MIND YOU

AN estimated 450 million people worldwide experience mental illness (anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.) Of these, less than half receive the help they need.

In recognition of this, World Mental Health Day 2009 will focus on Mental Health in Primary Care. That is, on ensuring more people with mental illness can get the treatment and care they need in their neighbourhoods, and not an isolated facility miles away from home.

“Primary care starts with people. And, integrating mental health services into primary care is the most viable way of ensuring that people have access to the mental health care they need,” say World Health Organisation director general Margaret Chan and World Organization of Family Doctors president Professor Chris van Weel in the 2008 report, Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care: A Global Perspective (

Patients being treated closer to home is a good thing all round. Everyday living is less disrupted, costs are saved all around, and the chances of patients being abused by unfamiliar carers decreases.

However, in order for mental health services integration to flourish, Chan and van Weel note general primary care systems need to be strengthened first.

What you can do:

If you are a primary healthcare provider, benchmark yourself against the principles in the 2009 Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health Call to Action ( and develop an action plan to address any gaps in your service provision.

If you are a mental health service user, or care for someone who is, send a copy of the Call to Action to healthcare providers, politicians, charities, and NGOs in your area. Participate in how your healthcare is being designed and delivered. Ask why things are done the way they are and how they could be done better with your input and/or support.

If you live in a community with mentally ill people, find out how you can be a part of community care. Community care can mean care in the community and not in an institution (e.g. in ordinary housing or in indepent living centres) or care by the community (e.g. care from social networks, charities and/or informal carers.)

Community care supports primary care, and requires understanding, empathy, and involvement from community members. A good place to start learning is the Malaysian Mental Health Association, which is holding an open day this month (See Events.)

(Art4Health is a new Fit4Life feature aimed at getting people to think global and act local about their health. If you are organising a health-related event the general public will benefit from, drop us an email at so we can help you reach a wider audience).

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