I was reading the paper when I stumbled upon a news article, ‘Worrying trend in mental health issues: Minister’, published in the Bulletin yesterday.
According to the authorities, there are currently up to 600 people per month seeking help for mental health issues, while the suicide rate has also gone up. The statistics are quite alarming, especially given the small population.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, health leaders around the world had been warning of an impending mental health crisis. And it appears that Brunei has not been spared.
On top of having to live with a heightened state of anxiety, the job market was heavily impacted by a host of measures set up to limit the spread of the virus. Three years of uncertainty and fear, and we have a populace still reeling from the pandemic as well as the economy.
Thus, I would like to applaud the authorities for tackling these residual crises head-on, such as setting up a hotline to ensure those struggling with mental health have a place to turn to and keeping us informed through press conferences and social media.