Selangor Journal
Image for illustration purposes only. — Picture by PEXELS

HEAL Line 15555 starts operations today — KJ

CYBERJAYA, Oct 21 — The National Mental Health Crisis Line or HEAL Line 15555 started operating today to help individuals facing mental health problems get early assistance.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the operators who handled the calls were all well-trained to help callers.

“They are given training so that they can detect the emotional state of the caller based on their intonation (voice) and calm the caller,” he told reporters after opening the National Centre of Excellence for Mental Health (NCEMH) here today.

Earlier, in his speech, Khairy said that the line is handled by the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) psychology (counselling) officers and currently operates from 8am to midnight every day, including public holidays, with the operating hours possibly being improved in the future.

He said the five-digit line is an improvement to the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Service (MHPSS) which offers emotional and psychosocial support to affected individuals.

Khairy added the increasing trend of mental health problems is now a global issue and has been identified as a major challenge to the health sector.

The situation in Malaysia is very worrying as there is a significant increase in suicide cases namely 1,142 cases in 2021 compared to 631 cases in the previous year, he said.

Regarding the NCEMH, he said the centre of excellence will be able to minimise the service gap and enhance the sharing of mental health expertise resources through a combination of experts through a bio-psychosocial approach as well as spiritual aspects.

The operation of NCEMH involves a total of 54 members from various professions.

“The NCEMH will also be a local reference and training centre including the process of accreditation and credentialing of mental health programmes,” Khairy said, adding that NCEMH will be a platform to enhance strategic collaboration with government and private agencies as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Meanwhile, he said a Mental Health Hub via a digital platform will be set up to strengthen mental health surveillance activities.

— Bernama

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