MoH received over 220,000 calls seeking emotional support, counselling as of Sept, Senate told

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali speaks to reporters during a visit to the vaccination centre at Milennium Hall, Bertam July 9, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali speaks to reporters during a visit to the vaccination centre at Milennium Hall, Bertam July 9, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — A total of 223,990 calls to the Psychosocial Support Line were received as of Sept 19 with 80.8 per cent of the callers needed emotional support and counselling, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said they included issues related to job loss, no source of income, family conflicts and interpersonal relationship problems.

“Other issues include the stigma of being infected of Covid-19, isolation and lack of access to aid and assistance during the movement control order (MCO),” he said during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Negara today.

Dr Noor Azmi was replying to Senator Dr Wan Martina Wan Yusoff who wanted to know what the government is doing to address the mental health issues of the people during the pandemic.

The minister said the Psychosocial Support Help Line was one of the government’s initiatives to improve the existing mental health management system.

“Last October, we have also appointed and deployed additional 200 psychology officers on a contract basis to provide mental health services and psychosocial support at 1,191 health clinics nationwide.

“The ministry is also intensifying its promotional and mental health prevention programmes at the primer stage that include screening, intervention and treatment to improve the early detection of individuals with mental health issues,” he added. — Bernama

*If you are lonely, distressed, or having negative thoughts, Befrienders offers free and confidential support 24 hours a day. Contact Befrienders KL at 03-79568145 or 04-281 5161/1108 in Penang, or 05-547 7933/7955 in Ipoh, or 088 255 788 in Sabah, or email [email protected]. There are also free hotlines for young people. Talian Kasih at 15999 (24/7); and Talian BuddyBear at 1800-18-2327(BEAR)(daily 12pm-12am).

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