Group lends a listening ear to troubled folk

  • Metro News
  • Friday, 05 Jun 2020

BEFRIENDERS Johor Baru recorded an increase in number of calls from people suffering from depression during the movement control order (MCO).

Its president Sim Ah Moi said the number of calls had doubled during the MCO, with most saying 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, ” said Sim, adding that many felt isolated during the restriction order.

She said as people were unable to visit their loved ones during the MCO, they called to talk about their loneliness.

Sim said at the beginning of the restriction order in March, they received an average of about 10 to 15 calls daily.

After the MCO was relaxed on May 4, there were fewer calls.

She added that a significant number of calls received during the restriction order were on money-related problems.

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

“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 extended since the MCO.

“Previously, most callers were senior citizens.

“Now even younger people are calling to seek 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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