Support for the depressed and suicidal

The LAH support

Sometimes we may encounter situations where someone shares with us about feeling “hopeless” or ” there is no meaning in life”. In situation like this, we are in a better position to assist when we are equipped with some simple listening and  enquiry skills.

I am sharing a simple technique called the “LAH” support”  which is a simple step by step method to approach someone who is depressed or suicidal. This technique was created by a psychiatrist in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Professor Dr. T. Maniam.

Click here for The LAH Support




Mental (Psychological) health and happiness

Here are some interesting data on mental health and its relationship with well being and happiness.

Source : World Happiness report 2013

1) *Mental Health or Psychological well being is the single most important determinant of happiness.

2)  Happy people live longer, are more productive, earn more and are better citizens


2)  Published research from Psychological Bulletin  (2005)  found a strong connection between emotional well-being and success.


3)   According to American Psychological Association,(2012),  Mindfulness( Focus on the present )

—      -  Improves focus and memory.
—      -  Better immune functioning and well-being
—      -  Reduces stress, anxiety and depression

4)  A Sociological report ( 2010 ) found that positive social relationship  influence health behaviour and lead to better physical health, mental health and overall well-being.

5)  Malaysia is the world’s 56th happiest country.

Fond memories

The late actor Robin Williams has a very special place in my heart. It was a role which he has acted  in a movie called “ Patch Adams” in 1998.

In that movie, which was based on a real life story, he took on the role of a medical student who was passionate about being a doctor. He believed that doctors should focus more on treating the person besides treating the disease.  In other words, the focus of patient care is the process of understanding the patient as a whole and how he or she has been affected by the illness ; in all aspects of a personhood, be it physical, psychological (intellectual and emotional), social and spiritual.

My heart was filled with sadness when I heard of Mr. Robin Williams death. The world has lost a truly talented and gifted soul.

Let us mourn and grief over our loss.

And let us cherish the fond memories that remains in our heart.


Fraser Hill, Malaysia

Recently, I went for a family trip at Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, Malaysia and managed to squeeze in time for my personal retreat. I truly felt that it was a much needed break from my daily routine.

The thing that I enjoyed most at Fraser’s Hill was the cool morning walks at a temperature of 20 degrees Celcius. This was a great relief from the 37C in Kuala Lumpur / Petaling Jaya at noon.

As we were descending for Kuala Lumpur after a refreshing retreat, we came across an abandoned bungalow at midway.

I was told that the mansion was once a very famous bungalow and cafe which accommodated travellers, particularly those who needed a short rest. During those days, there was only one road to Fraser’s Hill. Travellers ascending and descending the hill needed to take turns based on a specific road schedule.

As such, the holiday makers used to enjoy delicious English breakfast and tea at the cafe while waiting for their turns to ascend Fraser’s Hill. Some may choose to stay overnight at the bungalow because the narrow road leading to Fraser’s Hill were closed at night.

However, in the recent years, new roads were developed and allowed for continuous access to the hill. Therefore, the bungalow which has once seen glorious days, was later abandoned.

From this illustration, I realized that I need to keep learning and changing with the times.

The world and our surroundings are changing each day. Medical sciences are flooded with new research findings. Our local social and cultural fabric are continually invaded by influences from other cultures. According to Erik Erikson, the famous developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst, the journey of a lifetime is about growth and adapting to changes from birth till death.  And I need to follow through these changes that happens in my internal and external world.

Human rights movement and individualism are permeating our shores. So how do we integrate individualism with the Asian traditional family and cultural values? Hence, if I do not learn, unlearn and grow alongside these rapid developments, I may end up like the abandoned bungalow, lonely and obsolete.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Multitasking : Is it good or bad?

First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Daniel Chandranayagam ( columnist for the star paper , Malaysia )   for bringing up the important topic of multitasking.

From my personal experiences, multitasking was certainly more stressful and strenuous to my brain. I often felt a kind of “fuzziness” in my brain after a period of multitasking. I believed that the following article will enlightened us that indeed “Less is more”

Based on a several research findings, including one from Stanford University, Daniel Chandranayagam has reaffirmed the fact that multitasking may sometimes cause more harm than good.

Here is a news article on the research.

The Stanford research showed:

In                                                                         the multitaskers are

ability to ignore irrelevant information much                      worse

ability to organize information                                            worse

memory                                                                               equal

ability to switch tasks rapidly                                             worse

ability to focus on a task                                                   worse

Click here for a summary of the Stanford research

Click here for the article by Daniel

Less is more.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe