KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 ― The Health Ministry (MoH) is working with telecommunications companies to provide free access to the Mental Health Crisis Helpline or HEAL Line 15555.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Lukanisman Awang Sauni said this initiative aims to make it easier for the public, especially teenagers, to access mental health counselling services through the helpline.

“We have received offers from telecommunications companies to provide this helpline free of charge, as currently it is subject to regular charges.

“We hope that major companies like Celcom, Digi and Maxis will offer this service for free to encourage more young people to seek help and receive advice from counsellors,” he added.

He said this in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PN-Rantau Panjang) regarding the specific strategies for addressing mental health issues among children.

Lukanisman further said that the HEAL Line has received 46,324 calls since its establishment on October 21, 2022.

Of the total, 27,361 calls or 59 per cent of clients, received emotional support and counselling assistance, while 18,963 calls (41 per cent) received specialised interventions from counselling psychologists.

“There were 288 cases of suicidal behaviour handled, of which 161 cases of suicidal ideation were given interventions and 127 suicide attempt cases were referred to health facilities for further treatment,” he said.

He added that for every suicide attempt case successfully rescued and discharged from the hospital, helpline officers, particularly psychology officers, would conduct regular follow-up calls to ensure ongoing treatment and recovery. ― Bernama