43,000 calls to helpline since MCO started

In session: Senators discussing various issues at the Dewan Negara. — Bernama

THE Health Ministry received more than 43,000 calls via its psychosocial support hotline since the movement control order was introduced on March 18 right up to Dec 1, involving various issues due to emotional stress.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the service which was run together with Mercy Malaysia was aimed at helping society, especially parents with special needs children.

“This counselling service via telephone is given by a team of psychologists who are specially trained, including in providing psychological first-aid to those in need.

“Among the problems often heard include loss of jobs, no source of income, family conflict and relationship problems, ” he said in reply to Senator Ras Adiba Radzi who wanted to know the ministry’s efforts in tackling psychological and mental problems faced by such parents.

Elaborating, Dr Adham said the ministry was implementing various other efforts in providing psychosocial support to parents who have children with disabilities, such as setting up mental health and psychosocial support teams in each district, besides developing mental health and psychoeducation material.

“Medical outreach is also undertaken to get such children and their guardians to come to the community-based rehabilitation centres, ” he said.

“Committee members for each of the centres also played an active role in giving advice, guidance and sharing expertise with the children and guardians on mental health, ” he added.

The minister said the government was also providing the Talian Kasih 15999 and Talian Khas Kaunseling Covid-19 hotlines via the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to safeguard the mental health of Malaysians. — Bernama

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