Most parents suffered depression at start of MCO 2.0: Ismail
Published on: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
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Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the biggest worries for parents were their children’s education, limited outdoor activities and the uncertain MCO duration. (Photo: Freepik via FMT)
Kuala Lumpur: A majority of parents experienced depression after the second movement control order (MCO 2.0) was implemented at the beginning of the year, said Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said 63% of those in a survey conducted by the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) from March 5-14 said they suffered from depression while 81.4% said they were under emotional pressure and stress – with anxiety, nervousness and restlessness among the key indicators.

A total of 1,148 people were interviewed in the survey over the effects of the third wave of Covid-19 infections, which coincided with MCO 2.0.

“As a result of this depression, 20.4% of parents began to have difficulty controlling their anger. This was followed by those who had difficulty sleeping peacefully (16.8%) and those who had frequent headaches or stomach aches (15.8%),” he said.

Ismail said this in a written reply in Parliament to Tampin MP Hasan Bahrom, who asked the prime minister to provide statistics on divorces among rural communities during the pandemic.

While he said no such statistics were available, he noted that LPPKN conducted a public opinion poll titled: “The pressures and challenges of parenting in facing the new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic” in March which studied the effects of the pandemic on Malaysian families.

The poll found that the main factors contributing to parents’ emotional pressure during the period included worries about their children’s education (21.3%), limited outdoor activities due to the lockdown (16.4%) and the MCO’s uncertain duration (12.2%).

The parents also noted the difficulties in online learning. Although nine out of 10 parents said they had at least one device for their children to use for online learning, only 37.5% of them had a stable broadband internet connection at home.

LPPKN conducted the survey to learn more about the challenges, levels of emotional stress and mental health issues faced by parents during the pandemic.

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