Prof Alvin Ng and Team Awarded with MYR 3.7 million Research Grant by the Kavli Trust Programme on Health Research

Prof Alvin Ng Lai Oon, from the Department of Psychology, School of Medical and Life Sciences, Sunway University and his team from British, Spanish, and four other Malaysian universities are set to begin a 3-year study that will examine the effects of a school-based programme after being awarded with 3.7 million Malaysian Ringgit (€765,000) of funding by the Kavli Trust Programme for Health Research.

Professor Cecilia Essau at the University of Roehampton, London, United Kingdom, will lead the project in collaboration with researchers from the University of Exeter, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Sunway University, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Universiti Malaya (UM). Associate Professor Dr Suzaily Wahab at UKM, research lead in Malaysia, will coordinate and oversee the operational management across the study regions.

The aim of this new study is to evaluate a school-based psychosocial intervention among adolescents who are at high risk of developing anxiety and/or depression. From May 2023 to April 2026, the research team will evaluate whether Super Skills for Life (SSL) – a psychosocial intervention delivered by school staff – is successful in reducing anxiety and depression and at promoting mental health among at-risk adolescents, age 12-14 years, from low-income communities in Malaysia.
The study will be conducted across 20 schools in economically deprived regions in the Malaysian states of Sarawak, Sabah, and Selangor. If proven to have significant impact on adolescent’s outcomes and represent good value for money, the study will influence health and education policy and practice and provide a model for promoting mental health in Malaysia and other low- and middle-income countries.
The aim of the study will also generate new knowledge that will enhance the understanding of interventions to promote mental health in vulnerable adolescents.

For more information on this project, visit the Kavli Trust Programme page at: