Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 14, 2020 -- Being indoors during the Movement Control Order (MCO) can take a toll on mental health.
As such, Befrienders KL is offering confidential emotional support to anyone in need of a listening ear.
They can Skype or call the organisation’s hotline which is available 24 hours a day.
Befrienders KL patron Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, in a statement, said anyone struggling to cope can reach out and talk to someone.
"In times like this, where many find it difficult to cope, emotional support is very much needed. Not everyone has their own support system or someone they can confide in.
"Therefore, helplines providing such a service to the general public is essential. Due to this crisis, many helplines have also been set up by concerned parties," he said.
During the first seven days of the MCO, he said the organisation noted an increase of 13 per cent in calls on its 24-hour helpline. Nine per cent of the calls were Covid-19 or MCO-related.
He said as the MCO was extended, calls received outnumbered volunteers at the call centre.
"We explored a few different platforms as an alternative and decided to use Skype Voice Call to continue offering our free, non-judgmental emotional support," he said.
Lee said people from different walks of life have been reaching out to them.
He said there were calls from people struggling to adapt to the sudden change, people feeling trapped physically which then affected them emotionally, and people having conflict within their families due to heightened stress levels.
"There were also callers troubled by the uncertainties like when the MCO will be lifted, what is going to happen next, and whether they will be able to manage life post-MCO?
"Due to the helplessness and hopelessness, some are feeling suicidal too," he said.
Lee said although it is normal to feel stressed and anxious, those who find it too overwhelming should seek help.
He urged those who know anyone struggling with emotional breakdown to be empathetic and allow them to talk about their struggles or share contact details of helplines with them.
"As not everyone knows how to use Skype or has access to the internet, we have added a temporary phone line, thanks to the support of MT Microtel Technology Sdn Bhd," he added.
Befrienders KL's contact details during the MCO period:
Skype ID: BefKL Skype 1
Tel No: 03-7627 2929 (normal call charges apply)
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2020
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