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Study: Malaysians’ Interest in Mental Health Related Services & Products Skyrocket By 108% in 2021


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Source: KGW8 & Thrive Global

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“It is likely that a “mental health pandemic” is succeeding the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have taken a toll on the mental health of many. It has also undoubtedly led to a rise in suicide cases as reported by CodeBlue.

It was also previously reported that the police recorded 468 suicide cases in Malaysia in the first five months of 2021 compared to the annual total of 631 cases in 2020 and 609 in 2019. Selangor also registered the most cases this year as of May with a total of 117 cases.

This translates to three deaths by suicide occurring daily on average nationally, which is almost double the 1.7 rate last year and in 2019.

Mental health problems were also expected to become the second most common health problem for Malaysians after heart disease in 2020 which correlates with the findings of EMIR Research’s Quarterly Poll for the third quarter of 2020, where 72% of Malaysians were reportedly worried over their mental health.

Mental Health

For illustration purposes only

As the country battles with this major issue, more and more Malaysians are now prioritising their mental health and are actively seeking ways and methods to help themselves and their loved ones.

A recent study by iPrice Malaysia reported that Google searches for mental health services have more than doubled in the first five months of 2021 compared to 2019. This was a 109% increase in searches for professional mental healthcare treatment such as therapy sessions with psychologists or psychiatrists.


Taking it into one’s own hands

Aside from that, many have also turned to DIY methods such as products popularly known to reduce stress and anxiety as well as apps that promote and aid mental healthcare.

iPrice attributes this to the fact that mental healthcare can be expensive, inaccessible for many and some may fear the feeling of being judged as mental health continues to be a taboo topic.


Searches for scented candles increased by 137% in the first five months of 2021 in comparison to the same period in 2019, whilst back and neck massagers, weighted blankets and adult colouring books all increased by 175%, 99% and 95% respectively.

Other items such as therapy lamps, herbal tea and essential oils also experienced notable surges in search at 57%, 41% and 38%.

iPrice believes that the surges could be due to the stay-at-home period where many will not have much relief from the stresses of everyday life.

In terms of mental health apps, the country saw a 108% increase in interest in such apps by comparing the first 5 months of 2020 versus the same period in 2019.

The study was conducted by using a list of the best mental health apps in 2021 by Verywell Mind which helped to determine the increase of Malaysia’s interest in these apps.

Meditation app Headspace had the highest amount of interest whilst, MoodMission experienced the most increase in searches compared to the others at 800%.

iPrice says that it’s likely that a “mental health pandemic” is succeeding the coronavirus pandemic, given the data.

“The alarming increase in suicide rates and interest in mental health-related services and products are glaring indicators of Malaysia’s declining mental state.”


Things are undoubtedly difficult for everyone nowadays but it is wonderful to see that many are now prioritising their mental wellbeing and are seeking help in a variety of ways. 

Those who are suffering from mental health or are seeking emotional support can reach out to Mental Health Psychosocial Support Service (03-29359935 or 014-3223392) or Befrienders (03-76272929)


Also read: PDRM: 468 Suicide Cases Recorded In M’sia From January To May 2021, Majority In Selangor


Source: Reuters

Follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest stories and updates daily.

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