November 10, 2023, by Communications

Harnessing Science and Research for Mental Health and Development in Malaysia With Dr Shue Ling Chong

In conjunction with Global Science Day for Peace and Development, we embark on a journey to uncover the profound impact of science, education, and research in combatting the escalating mental health crisis among Malaysian youth.

In Malaysia, the 2019 National Health Morbidity Survey (NHMS) unveiled a disconcerting truth – nearly one in 20 children aged five to nine in the country may grapple with mental and developmental disorders. These silent challenges cast a long shadow on the well-being of our youth, demanding comprehensive solutions that reach beyond traditional healthcare. As we delve into the profound intersection of science, education, and research, we aim to unravel how these powerful tools can usher in a brighter future, free from the shadows of mental health struggles. To guide us on this path, we sat down with Assistant Professor Dr. Shue Ling from the School of Psychology, whose expertise sheds light on the science-backed approach that holds the promise of transformation.

Dr Shue Ling Chong

Science and Research: Unveiling the Path to Progress

In a world grappling with rising concerns about mental health, science and research stand as formidable allies in our quest to address developmental disorders and pave the way for peace and development in our community. Here’s why:

Scientific research plays a pivotal role in uncovering the root causes of developmental disorders, enabling effective interventions and support systems. It also empowers early detection through screening tools and bolsters intervention strategies, involving various stakeholders like parents, teachers, schools, and communities that can reduce stigma and promote greater acceptance and support for individuals and families affected by developmental disorders. Additionally, research drives public awareness and education, which will aid the development of policies and advocacy efforts aimed at improving access to mental health services.

Addressing developmental disorders and mental health concerns is not just a matter of personal well-being but also a cornerstone of community and national development. When individuals receive proper support, we promote our communities’ general well-being and foster a healthy society.

Efforts are actively underway to address the mental health and well-being of Malaysian youth entering the workforce. These initiatives encompass multiple facets:

  1. Awareness and Education: Organizations and government agencies are working diligently to raise awareness about developmental disorders and mental health issues, reducing stigma, and fostering inclusive workplace cultures.
  2. Mental Health Support: Employers are increasingly offering employee assistance programs and mental health resources to help young professionals cope with stress and emotional challenges.
  3. Mentoring, Peer Support, and Community Initiatives: Mentorship programs, peer support networks, and community-based initiatives provide invaluable guidance, emotional support, and a sense of belonging to young professionals with developmental disorders.
  4. Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Support: Both the Malaysian government and NGOs play a crucial role in offering various forms of assistance, including financial support, vocational training, and job placement services for individuals with developmental disorders.

By promoting evidence-based interventions and awareness, we are paving the way for a more inclusive and peaceful society that champions the well-being of all its members. We can also do our part in participating in community engagement and advocacy, education and research, and public awareness and support, as these collective efforts can make a meaningful impact on addressing developmental disorders and promoting mental health awareness in Malaysian youth.

For prospective students considering exploring their potential in enhancing the well-being of individuals and communities by providing essential services, reducing stigma, and advocating for improved policies and support systems, Dr. Chong conveys a powerful message:

“Welcome to a journey of impact and change! Your dedication and knowledge will reduce stigma and make a real difference among people. Join us to shape a more positive world.”

Inspired by Dr. Chong’s message? Explore higher education at the University of Nottingham Malaysia’s School of Psychology. Our research spans from theory development to understanding real-world issues. We offer undergraduate programs like BSc (Hons) Psychology and BSc (Hons) Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, as well as postgraduate options including MRes/MPhil/PhD Psychology and Developmental Disorders MSc. Visit for more information.

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