Psychosocial support Hotlines: Sadness, fear among caller woes

by BERNAMA / pic by BLOOMBERG

Callers of psychosocial support hotlines, among others, disclosed feelings of anxiety, sadness, fear and stress during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

Besides that, there were also financial and relationship grievances, said Kuala Lumpur Befrienders executive director Kenny Lim. 

He said the level of acceptance for the MCO varies between individuals, with some well adjusted to it while others were grappling with their own problems.

“There are those who are affected by the MCO, such as feeling stressed for not being able to leave the house and forced to endure long hours with their family members, which is among causes of family arguments,” he told Bernama today.

Lim said the non-profit organisation, which provides round-the-clock psychosocial support service, received more than 70 calls daily during the MCO, which was implemented on March 18.

“We have 110 volunteers who are ready to help. For individuals who suffer emotional crisis and are in need of support, Befrienders is a safe place to voice out their problems without fear of being judged. They can confide in us anything; their secrets are safe with us,” he said.

Lim said most callers would feel better after sharing their feelings and many had thanked Befrienders for the time and support.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) had taken 700 calls from individuals with family and community-related problems through its hotline MyCareCov19, which was launched on April 13.

JAKIM Family, Social and Community Division senior assistant director Dr Mohd Izwan Md Yusof said besides attending to marital and family issues, the department is also helping individuals who ran out of food supply by referring them to the Social Welfare Department (JKM).  

“What makes MyCareCov19 different from other hotlines is that we keep in touch with identified targeted groups, which include single mothers and people’s housing project (PPR) residents, because some of them have no income during the MCO,” said Mohd Izwan, adding that they also entertain calls from non-Muslims.

He said eight personnel and 20 counsellors are providing the service, from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays.

“Those with problems can contact MyCareCov19 operations room at 03-8870519/7527/7528 or email to [email protected],” he added.