The Perak Society for the Promotion of Mental Health was established in October 1967 as a pilot project for the rehabilitation of mental patients.
A Centre was set up at the Luther Clinic in Clarke Street, Ipoh, which a few mental patients from Hospital Bahagia were brought each day. Under the guidance of a trained social worker, they carried out occupational therapy work and cultural recreational activities.
The project set up by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr M. Mahadevan (then Consultant Psychiatrist and later Director of Hospital Bahagia), was funded by the Lutheran Church of America and managed by Rev. Donald R. Poole Jr, Dr Ute Volp, Dr Lee Kok Heng, Miss Joy Selvanayagam. During the 40 years of this organisation, hundreds of women have received care and rehabilitation at this facility and have made tremendous progress over the years.
The Society was launched by the Rotary Club Ipoh with eighty founder members and the Centre is now known as Pusat Pemulihan Jiwa or Day Care Centre.
Mr Frank Cowie was the Centre’s first President, followed by Mrs Koon Yew Yin in 1976, and Dato’ Dr M. Majumder in 1986. The Patron of the Society is DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Azlan Shah.
The society is affiliated with the World Federation of Mental Health. A Drop-In Centre was set up in Ipoh to provide ex-patients a place outside their premises to interact and develop special skills.
Perak Mental Health Campaign
In 1994, the Society, Rotary Club of Greentown and Persatuan Kebajikan Pesakit-Pesakit Hospital Bahagia, launched the Perak Mental Health Campaign. This association has been actively promoting mental health through education, information and forums for the benefit of the general public and for students in schools in Perak.
Every two years, mental health conventions are held and these events are well attended by psychiatrists, medical students, nurses and members of the public and caregivers from Malaysia and abroad. The Perak Mental Health Campaign has embarked on a vigorous programme for a healthy mental lifestyle. It also hopes to eradicate the stigma attached to mental illness and create awareness through its campaigns.
- Orchid farming. The orchid project was started in 1993 at the centre and has been very successful, there standing orders for orchids for florists in Ipoh.
- Ceramic Project. The project was started in 1994 with the purchase of a large kiln. This occupational activity helps to sharpen the skills of residents in painting and artwork.
- Art Project. Residents attend weekly art sessions under the guidance of an art illustrator, Mr John Lai, where they are taught to rediscover their talents in art.
- Laughter Therapy. Introduced in 2006, this activity has many benefits to the mind and body.
- Music Therapy. This consists of dance sessions, angklung and kompang performances.
- Drum Circle. An activity which helps residents to de-stress through the beating of drums to a rhythm.
- Strining of plastic bag
- Handicraft production
- Glove Packing
- Garden projects
- Weekly counselling sessions with trained counsellor Ms Anita Durai
- Occupational Therapy. In 2007, Japan foundation provided the centre with a JOCV occupational therapist, Ms Etsuko Nishida, who did volunteer service for a two-year period.
Set up by Rotary Clubs of Greentown and District 5330 California (USA), the Sick Bay is equipped with 10 beds and medical equipment.
Tambun and Cempaka Houses
In an effort to relocate residents, a group of fully rehabilitated residents who are ready for employment and gainfully employed, are housed in a double-story house in Taman Cempaka and a terrace house in Taman Tambun partly financed by the late Mr Colin MacDonald.
In 1995 a sheltered workshop was set up in the Centre. This workshop provides a conducive working environment for residents and day care services for psychosocially disabled individuals from the vicinity of Ipoh.
The late Dr Wan Po Choon, a former resident of the Centre bequeathed part of her savings to the Society. The new workshop is now known as the Dr Wan Po Choon Workshop.
Fund Raising Projects
Besides organising activities and promoting mental health awareness, the Society is also entrusted with the task of fund raising to execute these activities. Much of their effort and time are utilised in canvassing for financial support from government, non-government organisations as well as individuals for aid to continue with the various programmes and to build the Centre.
It would be of great assistance to the Society if more corporate bodies could render some financial aid and assistance to keep their project going. Various activities like: Open Day Sales, Charity Food Fares, Sales of Handicraft, Ceramics & Orchids are carried out regularly to help in obtaining the much needed funds for the Centre.
For further information, contact:
Perak Society for the Promotion of Mental Health
Lot 18200, Batu Lapan, Ulu Kinta
05-5332167 (Tel) or 05-5335457 (Tel/Fax)