KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16– The Health Ministry (KKM) received more than 43,000 calls via its psychosocial support hotline since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was introduced on March 18 until Dec 1 involving various issues due to emotional stress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the service which was run together with Mercy Malaysia is aimed at helping society, especially parents who have special needs children to manage mental health.
“This counselling service via telephone is given by a team of psychologists who are specially trained including in providing psychological first aid to help those in need. Among the problems often heard include loss of jobs, no source of income, family conflicts and relationship problems,” he told the Dewan Negara today.
He was replying to a question from Senator Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi who asked on efforts the ministry was taking to tackle psychological and mental problems faced by parents, especially those who have children with disabilities (OKU).
Explaining further, Dr Adham said the ministry was implementing various other efforts in providing psychosocial support to parents with children with disabilities, among them setting up mental health and psychosocial support teams in each district, besides developing mental health and psychoeducation materials.
“Medical outreach is also undertaken to get the OKU children and their guardians to come to Community Based Rehabilitation Centres (PDK), apart from committee members for each PDK also playing a role to give advice, guidance and sharing their expertise to the OKU and guardians, covering mental health,” he said.
According to him, 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 ensure that the mental health of Malaysians is always at a stable level.