PETALING JAYA: Many in Malaysia are grappling with loneliness as the raging Covid-19 pandemic and movement restrictions have put a limit on social activities.
The number of calls to the Befrienders hotline during the third movement control order (MCO 3.0) has significantly increased compared to its first round, it said.
Befrienders KL executive director Kenny Lim said that since the third MCO was re-introduced, the hotline has received over a hundred phone calls a day.
“For the short few days since MCO was re-imposed, we received an average of 107 telephone calls per day.
“This is compared to about 70 phone calls a day during the first MCO, ” he said when contacted.
He said many people calling in had struggles with loneliness, especially as their movement and social activities are now restricted.
“For example, we have callers who are missing their parents as they can’t travel back to their hometown. Earlier on, when students were not allowed to travel, we also received calls from students who felt trapped.
“We also received calls from those who are missing spouses who aren’t able to return to their family because they are working outstation.
“Apart from that, there are callers who felt lonely and who felt that their social life has been disrupted as they are not able to meet friends in person.
“Some of them were relying on social meetings as one of their coping mechanisms or as part of their self-care routine, ” he said.
He advised people who are struggling with loneliness to take the time to practise self-care.
“Most importantly, don’t be afraid to reach out for help when needed, ” he said.
Those in need of someone to talk to can call Befrienders at 03-7627 2929 or visit its website at www.befrienders.org.my.