Suicide: Help depressed family members, friends by contacting tele-counselling line, says minister

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun after an award ceremony for people with disabilities in Putrajaya, November 25, 2020. — Bernama pic
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun after an award ceremony for people with disabilities in Putrajaya, November 25, 2020. — Bernama pic
PUTRAJAYA, Nov 25 — Family members and friends play a critical role in the prevention of suicide, which has been reported to be on the rise since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented following the Covid-19 outbreak, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun.

As such, she urged them to seek help from the Special Covid-19 Counselling Service Line by calling Talian Kasih at 15999 or WhatsApp 019-2615999, if any family member or a friend is going through depression.

“We understand that many are affected, people have different challenges and they overcome them differently, “ she told reporters after an award ceremony for people with disabilities here, today.

Since the special tele-counselling service line started in March 26 until November 22, Rina said 3,012 calls were received which were directly connected to the Board of Counsellors of Malaysia.

The highest number of calls was recorded in April and May at 658 and 757 calls, respectively, she said.

“Most called with complaints of being under stress, some said this was because they could not go out, loss of income and had family problems,” she said.

According to media reports, Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) statistics showed 266 people committed suicide between March 18 and October 30 — averaging 30 a month.

The largest contributing factor for the suicides was debt problems, followed by family issues and domestic disputes.

On domestic violence, Rina said Talian Kasih received 2,319 complaints from January to November 22 and the highest number was recorded in April and May, with 337 and 420 calls respectively.

Therefore she said, in celebrating Elimination of Violence against Women Day, the ministry has organised various activities such as the Anti-Crimes Against Women campaign and engagement sessions with non-governmental organisations, to create community awareness.

Meanwhile, Rina called on private companies to consider the disabled for employment so that the group is not marginalised, especially at this time during the Covid-19 outbreak.

She said of the 581,265 disabled people registered nationwide, 15,326 are working in the private sector and another 4,202 are in the civil service, while 1,397 managed to secure jobs through the ministry’s “Job Coach” programme.

At the ceremony held in conjunction with People with Disability Day today, Rina presented the Caring Employer Award to four companies namely McDonalds Malaysia, AEON Co (M) Bhd, Uniqlo (M) Sdn Bhd and Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd, where over one per cent of their employees comprise people with disability.

Apart from that, the Mithali Parents Award went to couple Zulkifly Samsudin and Suhaila Abdul Manap who have been actively involved in community services despite having to raise two children with special needs. — Bernama

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