Greetings from the Southern State
Date: 15 February 2011
By Dr. Johari Khamis
The year 2010 had been an exciting year for the southern state of Johor. Under the guidance and direction of Dr. Abdul Kadir, two more hospitals started to have their own resident psychiatrists.
Hospital Segamat is currently headed by Dr Johari Khamis and Hospital Kluang by Dr Lee Yee Ting. Previously, these hospitals were visited by psychiatrists from Hospital Muar and Hospital Permai respectively. In addition to that, Hospital Batu Pahat – which longed for a resident psychiatrist for many years ‐ currently been geared up for more exciting years ahead under the direction of the new head, Dr Noor Mazita Mislan. Hospital Muar received Dr Salina Akhtar Mohd. Yusof as a new head replacing Dr Vincent Wong who was transferred to Klang.
Hence, at present, psychiatric services for the state of Johor are covering almost all parts of the state. Despite many challenges and obstacles faced by these new generations of psychiatrists, they remain humble and optimist about the steps taken and the road travelled in the journey to elevate the standard and quality of mental health care to the next level. Kudos.
As stated in its motto; ‘Pelopor Minda Sihat’ or ‘Pioneers in Healthy Mind’, Hospital Permai continued to be one of the leaders in shaping the care for mentally ill people in the country. In 2010, Hospital Permai has again – without fail ‐ successfully organized the annual Johor Mental Health Conference for the 12th consecutive years at The Zon Regency Hotel, Johor Bahru. With 500 participants, the conference had already garnered a place on its own in the psychiatric events’ calendar every year; something that mental health care professionals look forward to each year. The theme for the conference which was held from the 31st of May till 2nd of June 2010, was “Holistic Care in Psychiatry: Translating Evidence Based Medicine in Everyday Practice”. Two days preconvention workshop that covered various topics was also held at the Hospital Permai grounds. The state health director Dr Mohd Khairi Yaakob was kind enough to officiate and delivered the keynote address.
Hospital Permai also organized 2010 Mental Health Awareness Day on the 23rd of May 2010 at Plaza Angsana, Johor Bahru. It was officiated by Y.B. Dato’ Osman Sapian, the ADUN of Kempas. The awareness program managed to draw 400 participants. A forum addressing the issue on mental health was held with Dr Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar, the Director of Hospital Permai and Mr. Boo, an active member of MINDA (Johor) as panelists. Other activities are quiz competition for secondary school students with participation of 10 schools, exhibitions by various NGO’s such as MINDA (Johor), Sokka Gakai, Intan Lifezone, Befrienders, Rumah Penjagaan Nur Ehsan, Pacific Youth Outreach and PEKA. A blood donation drive was also held.
For similar objectives, Hospital Permai Open Day Carnival was held on 30th of October 2010. About 5,000 visitors turned up to this jolly carnival. There were various stalls providing information on mental health, selling handicrafts, food & beverage, farm products, game stalls. Off course the game stalls drew the most crowds. The carnival was officiated by Dato’ Hj Abdul Jabar bin Hj Long, a corporate figure in Johor.
The ‘Big Walk’ was held on 10th of October 2010, in conjunction with World Mental Health Day. The big day were co‐organized by Badan Kebajikan Psikiatri Hospital Permai and Pertubuhan Sokongan Kesihatan Minda Johor (Minda Johor) and took place in Danga Bay, Johor Bahru. It was officiated by Mr. M. Asojan (on behalf of Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, the Menteri Besar of Johor). Mr. Asojan is the State Chairman for the Unity, Human Resoursce, Science, Technology and Innovation. Dr. Mohd Khairi Yaakob the State Health Director flagged off the 500 participants. There were exhibition and telematch for primary school students. In the afternoon, a public forum on mental health was held at the Hospital Sultan Ismail Auditorium, officiated by Dr Arbain bin Lani, the State Health Deputy Director. The panelists were Dr Rohayah Abdullah, family medicine specialist from Klinik Kesihatan Masai, Dr. Norhashim bin Ahmad, psychiatrist from Hospital Sultanah Aminah and Mr. Kanan Mariapan from MINDA (Johor). The event also observed graduation scrolls being given to Family Support Group (FSG) members from Muar, Pontian and Johor Bahru. Booths by NGO, quizzes and lucky draw were also held.
Meanwhile, Hospital Batu Pahat also held its own program to celebrate the World Mental Health Day on 22nd of October 2010. The invited speakers touched on the matters related to the year theme; Mental Health and Chronic Physical Illnesses: The Need for Continued and Integrated Care. Certificates of excellence were also given out to paramedics who are committed in taking care of mentally patients in Batu Pahat District.
Dr Haslina Mohd Yusof and Dr. Sivakumar Thurairajasingam are the persons you want to refer to regarding addiction program for the state of Johor. They were the ones who helmed the addiction clinics in Hospital Permai. Now, both of them geared up for something bigger. To no surprise, the first ever Johor Addiction Symposium was held on 4th of December 2010 at Monash University Campus. Johor Bahru. It was co‐organized by Monash University and Johor Mental Health Organization. Dr Abdul Kadir bin Abu Bakar, the Director of Hospital Permai officiated the symposium. There were 120 participants attending including doctors, allied health staffs, pharmacists and patients and relatives. Prior to that, a public forum was held at Dewan Islam, Pusat Islam, Johor Bahru on 2nd of July 2010. The public forum touched on issues pertaining to drug addiction and the role of family and community in the treatment. It was attended by 400 participants. The panelists were Dr Haslina Mohd Yusof, Psychiatrist from Hospital Permai, Mr. Alias and Mr. Shamsuddin, recovering patients and Mr. Rasasoran Kannian, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Intan Lifezone.
Other smaller scales activities and programs were also held in 2010. Hospital Batu Pahat took up it turns to organize the ‘Breakaway Technique in Handling Aggressive Patients Course’ on 17th of July 2010. These yearly courses taught participants on the correct technique to handle aggressive patients. Hospital Segamat held ‘A Beautiful Mind’ Seminar on 25th March 2010. The seminar touched on the subjects of mental health and its treatment targeted for mental health care professionals from the northern part of Johor. Hospital Segamat also held a one‐day course on stress management; ‘What’s up with stress?’ on 27th of May 2010. It was followed up with the well received psychodrama ‘Lying on the Green Grass’ on 22nd of July 2010.
The year 2010 had closed its curtain and 2011 had already welcomed us. The psychiatrists from the State of Johor are optimist and hopeful that this year remains exciting, wonderful and colorful for psychiatry.
Photo Gallery for the event :
12th Johor Mental Health Conference
2010 Mental Health Awareness Day