FAMILY is supposed to be a ‘safe space’ for family members. Sadly, some families have become unsafe, especially for women and children.
Penang Social Development and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Chong Eng said cases of domestic violence could be associated with weak mental health and emotional distress.
“The people face different types of pressure daily – from work, family or others – which can lead to mental health problems.
“However, many are not even aware that they are experiencing mental health problems.
“Others who are aware of their mental health conditions, may feel uncomfortable to consult a psychiatrist or a counsellor fearing being stigmatised.
“This is the perception that the community, as a whole, has to overcome,” she said in her speech at the Sneham Public Training and Volunteer Recruitment event in Penang Harmony Centre today.
Chong Eng congratulated Sneham Malaysia Welfare Association founder Datuk Dr Florence Sinniah and her team for organising such a meaningful event.
“This two-day event, is aimed at raising awareness on the importance of mental health and to recruit volunteers who are willing to help those who are facing mental health problems.
“We all need to work together to address the issues on mental health. We need committed and responsible volunteers,” she said.
Dr Florence said the change in lifestyle and adaption of new norms due to the Covid-19 pandemic, bring positive and negative impacts to the people.
“The number of depression cases as well as domestic violence cases have increased.
“We received many of such reports during the movement control order (MCO) period.
“The Penang government is proactive in addressing the issue of domestic violence.
“The state has recently introduced the Penang Safe Family Policy to facilitate victims of domestic violence.
“We are committed to work together with the Penang government to help the community,” she said.
Among those present were Sneham Malaysia patron Prof Datuk Dr GP Doraisamy and Penang Women’s Development Corporation chief executive officer Ong Bee Leng.
Story and pix by Christopher Tan