Issues such as cyber-bullying, social media influence and pressure and problems related to usage of uncontrolled communications applications can cause a negative impact on mental health. The matter was raised by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar, the Minister of Health during the launch of the Educational Technology and Counselling Psychotherapy Innovation International Symposium yesterday morning. The Minister of Health stressed the negative impact include the lack of self-confidence, self-isolation, anxiety and depression as well as incidents of self-harm and suicide attempts. According to Yang Berhormat issues such as bullying and suicides have increased and are attracting greater attention. Therefore, the Minister added the country should be sensitive and ready to address the issues by taking preparatory and control measures such as providing guidelines as well as pragmatic actions which suit the local culture and are in line with religious principles and teachings.

The Minister of Health also emphasised counselling services at schools, institutions, work places and organisations play a strategic role as the first port of call for those experiencing problems which affect their mental health. Yang Berhormat added the counselling and support service provided by trained, emphatic and understanding counsellors on the cognitive link and behaviour of the individual can help those searching for a solution or an alternative to the problem. The Minister said the service also has an important role in the early identification of individuals who require reference to and the help of clinical mental health services.

Earlier Doctor Ahmad Fakhrurazi bin Mohammed Zabidi from the Islamic Turath Study Centre, Islamic Studies Faculty of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia presented a working paper titled, "Lataif Quraniyah Dalam Mengekalkan Elemen Kemanusiaan Dalam Psikospritual Kaunseling bagi menghadapi Cabaran Revolusi Industri 4.0." He said the Psychospiritual Islamic Syarie in the counseling world requires all counselors to deepen knowledge in Tasawuf to handle the subconscious to be close to Allah.

The 2-day symposium which carries the theme, "Educational and Social Well-Being Initiatives Meet the Challenges of the Industrial Revolution 4.0" gathers counsellors, psychologists and guidance and counselling teachers from ASEAN countries, not only to share views but also to share the newest and latest research discoveries or findings in mental health and well-being, especially in the field of Creative Psychotherapy. The symposium is hoped to help improve the capacity of the counsellors and psychologists in using innovative and creative psychotherapy methods in together preparing themselves to face the challenges of the 4.0 Industrial Revolution which will contribute towards addressing the mental health issues.

Source: Radio Television Brunei