MOH improves psychosocial support for Sabahans, frontliners

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

PUTRAJAYA – The surge in daily COVID-19 positive cases in Sabah has prompted the Ministry of Health (MOH) to improve the coverage of its special Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) via the ministry’s Psychosocial Helpline for the people in the state.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the helpline — 088-338088 — was to assist Sabahans and the state’s frontliners who are in need of support, especially during crisis situations.

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“This helpline is to help those who need emotional support services and early psychological intervention.

“The MOH also provides counselling services to frontline personnel on the field in order to identify those beginning to experience mental fatigue and to help them in relation to their mental health,” he said at a press conference on the development of the COVID-19 situation here today.

The MOH hoped that the country’s heroes and heroines would persevere and continue to fight against the onslaught of the third wave of the pandemic in Malaysia.

Commenting further, Dr Noor Hisham said the national Psychosocial Helpline, which had been developed by the ministry in cooperation with MERCY Malaysia and other agencies since March 25, received a total of 36,269 calls as of Oct 19.

He said that, among others, the callers required emotional support and counselling, (stress, worry, anger, depression) caused by social factors such as job loss, absence of income, relationship issues, negative perceptions of people around them, fear of being infected and workplace problems.

He said the helpline also received enquiries related to COVID-19, which accounted for 14.7 per cent, domestic issues/domestic violence (8.8 per cent), necessities/financial assistance/contributions (6.8 per cent) complaints (3.3 per cent), psychiatric problems (2.2 per cent) and health issues (1.1 per cent).

— BERNAMA