Mental Health Issues Among Chinese Communities in Malaysia: A Cultural and Historical Approach

Rachel Sing Kiat Ting, Foo Pei Lynn, Nicole Lee-Thung Tan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter presents the experiences of Chinese in Malaysia, in the context of mental health services. As the second largest ethnic group in Malaysia, the Chinese population is diverse in its subculture, education, generation, geography, and degree of assimilation to the mainstream culture. The chapter introduces the ecological characteristics in Malaysia and how they shape the unique mental health challenges of the Chinese. Though the Chinese are known for their multilingual ability, strong work ethic, emphasis on education, and family piety, clashes between traditional and modern values, their marginalized position in the Malaysian political arena, the stereotype of the economically successful minority, and the “brain drain” of young well-educated Chinese have all caused a strain in Chinese individuals and families across the lifespan. Moreover, they face both external and internal barriers in getting quality mental health care. It is therefore imperative to promote a mental health service model that is able to meet Chinese psychological needs, as well as being sensitive to the culture and history of the Chinese communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMental Health in China and the Chinese Diaspora
Subtitle of host publicationHistorical and Cultural Perspectives
EditorsHarry Minas
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030651619
ISBN (Print)9783030651602
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameInternational and Cultural Psychology
ISSN (Print)1571-5507
ISSN (Electronic)2197-7984

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