Group lends a listening ear to troubled folk


  • Metro News
  • Friday, 29 May 2020

Befrienders Johor Baru recorded an increased number of calls from the public suffering from depression during the MCO. — Filepic

JOHOR BARU: Befrienders Johor Baru recorded an increased number of calls from the public suffering from depression during the movement control order (MCO) and conditional MCO.

Its president Sim Ah Moi said the calls had doubled in number during the MCO, with most resorting to calling them as they were unable to attend counselling and therapy sessions due to travel restrictions.

“They complained about feeling down and lonely.

“They said they missed seeing their loved ones.”

She added that many felt isolated during the MCO.

“As people were unable to visit their loved ones during the MCO, they called to talk about their loneliness.

“At the beginning of the MCO, we received an average of about 10 to 15 calls daily. After the MCO was relaxed, there were fewer calls,” said Sim.

She added that a significant number of calls received during the MCO period were on money related woes.

“They said they had lost their jobs and without an income now.

“However, we have yet to receive any calls from those who had tested positive for Covid-19 or those who underwent quarantine,” she said.

Sim said the age range of those calling Befrienders had grown wider since the MCO period.

“Previously, most callers were senior citizens.

“Now even younger people are calling to get help,” she said.

She urged those facing difficulties or needed a listening ear to call Befrienders Johor Baru at 07-331 2300 or Muar (06-952 0313).

Johor Health Department has also provided a platform for the public to get psychological and emotional support during the MCO.

The public can reach out to the Johor Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS) special Covid-19 tele-counseling line at 07-231 1027.

The tele-counseling line operates from Sunday to Wednesday, from 8am to 5pm as well as from 8am to 3.30pm on Thursday.

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