KBS launches mental health service for youths in KL

Rakan Muda Comfort Room offers intervention programmes, mental health assessment and support group activities

by HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic by BERNAMA

IN AN effort to further refine the mental health services available in Malaysia, the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) has officiated the Rakan Muda Comfort Room, a mental health service for youths in Kuala Lumpur (KL).

Deputy KBS Minister Senator Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal (picture) said the service, which is a collaboration between KBS and the Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association (Miasa), is a manifestation of good synergy between the government and civil society organisations.

“This is to provide support to young people whose mental health is affected during the pandemic and post-pandemic period.

“The ministry welcomes more mental health non-governmental organisations to collaborate with us for this purpose,” he said in a virtual address recently.

The services offered by Rakan Muda Comfort Room includes a mental health support centre that offers early intervention programmes, mental health assessment, support group activities, as well as organising talks and mental health awareness programmes.

The Rakan Muda Comfort Room will operate on a daily basis either via online or face-to-face, depending on the current standard operating procedures by the National Security Council.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal said the topic of mental health has become increasingly pressing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the world since late 2019.

Even more worrying when studies show that in 2020, mental health problems are the second-biggest problem that will kill Malaysians.

A total of 1,738 suicide cases were recorded by the Royal Malaysian Police from 2019 to May this year.

Of the total figure, 609 suicide cases were reported in 2019, 631 cases were reported in 2020 and 498 cases have been reported until last May.

In this regard, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal invites young people in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding area to take advantage of Rakan Muda Comfort Room’s services.

Miasa has been a prime advocate in addressing issues related to mental health and illnesses.

Among the initiatives implemented by Miasa are bringing services to individuals online during the pandemic; taking opportunities and proactive measures to provide talks, forums and infographics; as well as organising various live programmes on social media to help those in need.