In this #HCPsofMY video, consultant psychiatrist Associate Professor Dr Amer Siddiq shares his reason for pursuing psychiatry and staying passionate in the field. 

I think the main reason that I pursued psychiatry is to assist people with mental health, because I feel that they are a marginalized population, and someone needs to do something about, especially have a voice for them.

One of the reasons that is driving me even more lately is the fact that just this week alone, I heard about 3 suicide cases. Unfortunately, they involved young people.

I’m working with other peers to investigate why our young people are actually committing suicide at the rate we are seeing. It’s not a lot, but it’s something that was not there with us before in the past.

What I realised in my journey doing psychiatry is that sometimes people do not know where to find help.

Late 2017, 2018, I've decided to really do a lot more advocacy. You might have seen me do a lot of television shows, write-ups in papers and magazines, podcast, which I hope will be able to make the subject less taboo, less stigmatising, to champion the needs of those with mental health.

And I find that very rewarding, especially when those with mental health come forward and say that they find value in works that I do. And also, my colleagues – being a little bit more sensitive towards patients with mental health, and either refer them to myself or other peers, which means that awareness to seek help is now made a little bigger.

My colleagues, my healthcare professional colleagues, we are also not immune to mental health issues.

A number of us have had problems with burnout, depression, and some of us have actually attempted to take our own lives. I think this is really important for us to understand that we are also vulnerable to mental health issues.

If you do need to seek help, there are lots of avenues, your colleagues can help you out, if you want to see us, and be reassured that despite your noble profession, and your high-profile work, that the information that you share with us is actually private and confidential.

Do reach out to us if you need that help. MIMS

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Suicide rates on the rise among teenagers and in urban areas in Malaysia