Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 397–404 | Cite as

Psychological Distress of Community Based Residents with Mental Illness in Perak, Malaysia

  • Sew Kim LowEmail author
  • Wan Ying Lee
  • Christoper Selvaraj Jacob


Community-based rehabilitation services in Malaysia have been established with the introduction of the National Mental health Act 2001. The Health Ministry’s aims of providing a comprehensive community care encountered difficulties due to the lack of support for the primary and secondary health care services. Given the lack of study into the challenges faced by individuals with mental illnesses, an apparent need has arisen to conduct a qualitative study to better understand the experiences and the psychological well-being of these individuals. The aim of this research is to investigate the psychological distress faced and experienced by these residents with mental illnesses in one of the community-based rehabilitation centres and to explore the problems they encounter. A total of eight residents were interviewed using a semi-structured interview approach. The findings revealed an obvious neglect of the residents’ psychological and social well-being. They felt the need for family support and social acceptance, to preserve their integrity and to get the understanding of the caregivers and the stigmatization that comes with mental illnesses. Mental health services should incorporate an integrative approach of public acceptance of these people living with mental illnesses by providing appropriate psychological services and facilities.


Community-based rehabilitation Mental illness Psychological distress Residents 



This project was funded by the University Internal Research Fund where the authors are currently attached to.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared that there is no conflict of interest among the parties concerned.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.


This project was funded by the University Internal Research Fund where the authors are currently attached to.

Ethical Approval

Approval was obtained from the University’s ethical committee and the management of the mental health centre before the study was conducted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sew Kim Low
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wan Ying Lee
    • 1
  • Christoper Selvaraj Jacob
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Counselling, Faculty of Arts and Social ScienceUniversiti Tunku Abdul RahmanKamparMalaysia

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