Does living in the city increase our risk for mental health issues? Dr. Derek Yach of the Vitality Group answers:
Are we creating opportunities for mental health issues to take root in our lives by living in the city? No, it’s the exact opposite – city living enables us to easily identify and appropriately treat mental health issues.
We should also be promoting mental health in the workplace. Ideally, the workplace should be like an urban safe space to talk about mental health. There are enormous gains in economic and social welfare when this is taken into consideration.
It’s also important to not underestimate the power of mobile in treating and preventing mental health issues. Overseas, tele-help services have been proven to be a low-cost and effective way of managing health issues. After all, mobile technology is already being used to monitor and treat physical health ailments like high blood pressure and diabetes.
Is all the stress we are experiencing bad for us? Dr. Toh Chin Lee, Head of Psychiatry Services at Ministry of Health Malaysia shares his thoughts:
Human beings are very adaptable beings. We’re triggered to stress by external conditions beyond our control, but stress is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s wrong to think of stress as only bad. We only have to learn how to manage it. The solution to managing stress involves many aspects beyond psychiatry – even sociology plays an important part. It’s good to practice healthy lifestyles and have healthy coping mechanisms for stress.
How then do we manage stress and stressors? Consultant Psychiatrist and Addiction Psychiatrist Dr. Philip George of The Mind Faculty answers:
A person’s physical health is connected to their mental health, and vice versa. Hence, the road towards mental wellbeing is ideally a combination of solutions; bio-psycho-social interventions.
Dr. Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar of the Malaysian Psychiatric Association offers some insight on how to have healthy minds in the city.
Malaysia is seeing a changing landscape. Where before 1996, most of the country’s population lived in rural areas, today, almost 60% of Malaysian live in urban areas. The World Health Organization has recognized happiness as a component of health. There are a few things we can do to be happy: Go and pursue happy moments. Do things you enjoy doing, find a meaningful activity to partake in, and nurture good relationships with others.
Hamdan Abdul Majeed of Think City adds:
Living in the city actually provides a framework for human connections. It is an ideal place for an exchange of goods, ideas and relationships. We must do our part to be happy as city residents – by taking ownership of our own cities.