Despite the slow-changing perception towards mental health issues in Malaysia, the stigma of mental health issues and seeking treatment in Malaysia remains pervasive.
On Tuesday, Roshinee Mookaiah took to Instagram following the passing of her friend from mental health issues to highlight the importance of therapy.
Roshinee, having attended therapy herself, spoke on the 3 commonly cited factors which had delayed her in taking that step towards better mental health.
1. “Therapy is too expensive”
Mental health services are commonly regarded as a luxury service for the stars and starlets of Hollywood who have ‘too much time or money’ and private mental health services can cost hundreds per session.
However, with the rise of mental health awareness, Roshinee highlights that affordable options for therapy are available in Malaysia.
More importantly, Roshinee emphasises the importance of health with mental health being an important aspect of one’s overall health and daily life.
This reframing of mental health as an integral element of health and life is crucial as suicide is one of the top 3 leading causes of death in the 15 - 44 age group globally.
How much would you pay for not just for a healthy life but for life itself?
2. “I wasn’t sick enough to go to therapy”
Photo via The Georgia Straight
Minimizing mental health issues inflicts a deeper wound. The thought process behind “I’m not sick enough” creates a narrative that one is taking for granted and is unappreciative of the blessings in their life. It normalises devaluing and deprioritising yourself. On top of that, it implies that one should be able to handle their trauma and issues by themselves. When left unchecked, the chances of a positive outcome diminish as the weave of this false narrative grows stronger.
Roshinee admits that despite being a psychology graduate, she fell into the common misconception that she was not sick enough to need therapy. She explained that although she appeared to be functioning perfectly well, she came to the realisation that she was not able process the internal trauma and grief that she was experiencing.
3. “I have friends and family”
Photo via Marie Claire
Finally, Roshinee speaks on the importance of community. However, she also explains that friends and family, despite their love and care may not have the resources and ability to help unpack and process trauma.
However, we also recognise that some may feel uncomfortable opening up to family and friends who may not be able to show emotional support or who may have opposing thoughts and feelings about shared experiences.
Thankfully, for those over 18, mental health support is a personal choice. With the advances of technology, you can now also get therapy anywhere, anytime.
At the end of the day, we hope that anyone facing mental health difficulties are able to take that step towards better health.
By: Catalina Hubbard