MCO causes spurt in number of calls to helpline for kids, abused

The Malaysian Board of Counsellors has provided 500 registered counsellors to man the helpline.

PETALING JAYA: The “Talian Kasih” helpline is seeing an increase in calls following the implementation of the movement control order (MCO).

The ministry’s corporate communications department said 1,893 calls to the Talian Kasih helpline for children and victims of domestic abuse had been recorded ever since the MCO started on March 18.

“The number of calls has increased by 57% during the MCO.”

It said a lot of callers were also seeking advice regarding the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Board of Counsellors (LKM) said it was reaching out to more registered counsellor volunteers to help operate the helpline.

LKM president Wan Marzuki Wan Jaafar said many members of the public were feeling anxious, stressed, worried and panicky during the MCO, which has now been extended by another two weeks until April 14.

“The mental health issues in the community need to be addressed properly. We will focus on giving psychological support so that the callers are able to cope and look after their mental health and well-being during the MCO,” he told FMT.

The “Talian Kasih” helpline was initially suspended in line with the MCO, which is aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The women, family and community development ministry revoked the suspension following criticism from concerned parties.

To date, LKM has provided 500 registered counsellor volunteers for the helpline.

“Our registered counsellors are always ready to help people in distress in times of crisis,” Wan Marzuki said.