Statistics: Mental Health in Malaysia

  • Every 3 in 10 adults aged 16 years and above have some sorts of mental health problems (29.2%).
  • The prevalence of mental health problems among adults increased from 10.7% in 1996, to 11.2% in 2006, to 29.2% in 2015.
  • The prevalence in Kuala Lumpur is 39.8%!
  • The prevalence in females was slightly higher than in males but the difference was not significant (30.8% vs 27.6%).
  • Risk factors (adults): females, younger adults, other Bumiputras, and adults from low income families.
  • By occupation, the prevalence was lowest among government/semi-government employees (2.6%) (?!).
  • The overall prevalence of mental health problem among children was 12.1% (children = 5 to 15 years old).
  • Risk factors (children): boys, younger age group and from rural areas.
  • Prevalence of mental health problems in children:  peer problem (32.5%), conduct problems (16.7%), emotional problems (e.g. anxiety, depression, 15.7%), pro-social skill (11.2%) and hyperactivity (4.6%).
  • There are 360 registered psychiatrists registered in the public and private sectors. The ratio of psychiatrists to the Malaysian population is 1:200,000 (1:10,000 is recommended by WHO).
  • Mental illness is expected to be the second biggest health problem affecting Malaysians after heart diseases by 2020.

Retrieved from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 (available here) or here.

11 thoughts on “Statistics: Mental Health in Malaysia

    1. I am not aware of our MOH collecting any data of this sort. The only official one is run every 10 years and does not classified mental disorders into different categories. You may try to google for private, unofficial research statistics. Good luck!

    1. Hey, as per my reply to Ghayathri above, our ministry of health runs this sort of national data collection and analysis every 10 years or so, the last one was published in 2015, which is what I shared here. You may try to google for private, regional, unofficial research statistics. Good luck!

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