MSCP’s stand on the recent media report on how Pokemon Go can help alleviate psychiatric illnesses.
While it has been reported in many news features that Pokemon Go has potentials as being part of mental health management for some types of disorders, there has been strong caution that it should not be seen as a substitute to formal psychological treatment. There has not been enough research evidence to show its benefits with regards to improving mental health although there have been anecdotal reports on its efficacy. Our concern about the recently published articles in the Malaysian media is that they did not include cautionary points on how mental health management lies in professional treatment. We would like to suggest that future articles on methods for mental health management be clear and accurate in its reporting so as to not mislead readers.
On another note, MSCP would like to encourage members of the public and the press to be careful when consulting experts in the mental health field. Just like how we ensure that physical health practitioners are well-qualified to manage our physical health, we should check that the mental health professionals we seek are properly trained and adequately qualified to practice what they claim to be able to do. An unqualified professional can bring you harm because they are not regulated and do not practice ethically.
Below are legitimate professional associations that deal with mental health issues because they can vouch for their members – so if you’re unsure who to see, check with these organisations:
(in alphabetical order)
Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Malaysia (AMFTM)
Malaysian Counselling Association (PERKAMA International)
Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA)
Malaysian Psychiatry Association (MPA)
Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP)