KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) will introduce a psychosocial support helpline for individuals facing emotional problems in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur following the Covid-19 pandemic.
MRCS chairman Tunku Temenggong Kedah, Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz Almarhum Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah said the RedCrescent4u helpline was initially introduced in Sabah when there was a spike in Covid-19 cases there.
“Judging by the success of the programme, MRCS will carry out the programme at the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor,” she said at a press conference after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MRCS and Pfizer Malaysia here today and it was witnessed by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
Puteri Intan Safinaz said that through the helpline, MRCS volunteers would provide counselling services and psychosocial support to callers, who will be referred to specialists if they have serious problems.
In her opening speech, she said the MoU was aimed at providing Malaysians, especially those in the B40 group, with healthcare services.
“There will be psychosocial support amidst this Covid-19 pandemic, health screening and awareness programmes targeted at the B40 communities in Malaysia, which include three mediums: the ‘RedCrescent4u Careline’; mobilising volunteers to remote areas of Malaysia through the ‘Care-A-Van & MyVac’ programme; and Health Webinar,” she said.
She added that the collaboration would also see Pfizer Malaysia’s commitment in ensuring the continuous success of the programme by mobilising its volunteers together with MRCS volunteers for health and awareness programmes, briefing on Covid-19 and the national vaccination programme.
Meanwhile, Dr Adham, in his speech, said that up to last December, the Ministry of Health (MOH) received a total of 44,061 calls via its psychosocial support hotline since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented.
He said 71.6 per cent of the calls involved those requiring emotional and psychological support.
“Among the issues encountered were the loss of jobs and income, financial crisis, family and interpersonal conflicts, the stigma of infection as well as adapting to the new normal during and post-MCO,” he said.