Halfway house for the mentally disabled

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KUCHING, May 13: It is high time for Sarawak to establish a ‘Halfway House’, to house those who are mentally disabled before they are assimilated back into the society.

In order for that to materialize, Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing, Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah proposed a collaborative effort between her ministry and the Ministry of Health (MOH) to cover aspects of Welfare and Treatment.

“We need a place for them to sort of warm up to the society and it must have the proper facility to look after several aspects of the individual concerned in terms of physical, mental and emotional,” she stated.

Fatimah made the statement following the case of the mentally disabled youth who was bullied by a 24 year old that went viral on social media, recently.

In regards to the victim, Fatimah urges the family member to confirm his mentally state via the Sentosa hospital, and undergo rehabilitation before he is discharged back to the community.

To this, Fatimah is aware of several families’ struggles in caring for a family member who is mentally disabled.

As much as they want to help their families who suffer with a mental condition, they themselves are not in the know of what to do to manage the situation. They need guidance.

“So this the initiative we need to look into, there’s two ministries that can look into this matter and come to a decision.

“We need to help them, as they are also part of the society, and at the same time their families needs help to help them. We need a holistic plan,” she added. The Dalat Assemblywoman hopes future meetings with MOH will see progression in resolving the pertaining issue.

If it involves any requirement for any policy or ordinances be developed in light of the issue, Fatimah said it will be forwarded to the cabinet or be debated in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN). – TVS

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