PINTAR-UTAR Mental Health Literacy Programme

According to a report by the Institute of Public Health in 2015, 12.1% of Malaysian children aged between 5 and 15 years old are experiencing significant psychological distress. Teachers, as the first-liner working with students, are among the personnel most likely to identify psychological challenges faced by them. However, many are not adequately trained to identify and manage children at risk of mental health issues.

With that in mind, the Foundation has collaborated with Universiti Tuanku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Kampar campus, to develop the PINTAR-UTAR Mental Health Literacy Programme (PUMP), funded by Yayasan Hasanah. PUMP is a comprehensive programme which involves mental health professionals in providing training to teachers to support them in their role in students’ development in secondary schools.

Thirty selected PINTAR secondary schools in five states – Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor – are involved in this one-year programme, aimed at among others, improving mental health knowledge of secondary school teachers and counsellors; improving their attitudes towards mental health issues; and improving the mental health support system for adolescents by secondary school teachers and counsellors.

In 2016, focus group discussions were held at three of the 30 participating schools to develop a baseline of the mental literacy situation in schools and to assist in the development of modules which will be used in the training workshops in 2017.