Impact of Mental Health Hotlines

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Untreated mental health conditions are on the rise worldwide, with millions of people suffering from various forms of these disorders. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that depression will be the leading cause of a key indicator of disease impact in the near future. Despite the high prevalence of common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, access to healthcare remains a challenge in both developed and developing countries where mental health is constantly stigmatized.

The coronavirus pandemic is having a negative impact on the country’s mental health, leading to an increase in suicides.

A 35-year-old jockey and a 50-year-old hawker, both of whom were thought to be facing financial difficulties as a result of the outbreak, were discovered dead in May 2020, while Malaysia was enforcing its movement restrictions. The jockey has been unable to work since the March 18 Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed.

Last year, a teen was discovered dead after her mother was unable to return from Singapore in time for her coming-of-age celebration.

The police recorded 468 suicides in the first five months of 2021, down from 631 in 2020 and 609 in 2019. Family conflicts, emotional stress, and financial difficulties were the three most frequently cited reasons.

Malaysia has 400 psychiatrists, despite the fact that it should have 3,100 based on the World Health Organization’s recommendation of one psychiatrist per 10,000 people (WHO).

While help is available for those suffering from mental illnesses, it is woefully underutilized due to a lack of information about its availability. Early intervention, on the other hand, is critical because it has the potential to halt the progression of the disease and restore normal function.

Because hotline operators have access to a wealth of information and resources and provide support to people with mental illnesses or their loved ones, mental health hotlines are an excellent place to start when seeking help for mental illness.

While Malaysia is still expected to be under lockdown with no end in sight, the situation in terms of mental health is not looking promising. As a society, we must ensure that these hotlines and mental health services remain widely available to the public.

The number of calls to mental health hotlines has fluctuated since their inception, but the recent surge is cause for concern. This year has seen a frightening increase in call volume, with Sneham Malaysia reporting an 11 percent increase in call volume in the first six months of 2021 compared to the entire year of 2019. When compared to 2020, which was the worst year in recent memory, the first six months of 2021 saw a 45 percent increase in call volumes, which must be considered. Sneham Malaysia is one of many Malaysian hotlines dedicated to serving our society and assisting in the care of everyone’s mental health.

Befrienders KL has seen similarly astounding results, with a 50 percent increase in calls in 2021 compared to the same time period in 2020. The cry for assistance is becoming more audible, and we must be prepared to assist them with all necessary tools.

Through the provision of services such as Tele-Counselling, such as that provided by Sneham, trained counsellors are made available to those who feel the need to speak with someone in confidence and privacy at no cost to the caller. Sneham makes use of Telekom Malaysia’s Tollfree (1-800) number, which allows anyone to contact and consult with them regardless of financial constraints. By providing a free, confidential service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can help anyone begin their healing journey. It can sometimes be beneficial to express your feelings to another human being in order to let them out and get the burden off your chest.

Numerous mental health helplines offer services to people who are experiencing mental health issues, as well as their families, caregivers, and professionals. While some helplines provide general information or referrals, others focus on specific issues or collaborate with statutory mental health services. Typically, mental health helplines offer confidential or anonymous support, after-hours assistance, crisis resolution, or specialist advice in this time of need.

With the pandemic, MCO, and a slew of other uncertainties in the world right now, it’s understandable that many people aren’t in the best of spirits.

Whether you’re a recent graduate worried about your job prospects, a working mother overwhelmed by the working-from-home arrangement, or someone suffering from loneliness after not seeing your loved ones for months on end, don’t be afraid to speak up and seek help. There are plenty of options for finding mental health hotlines. If you do not know where to start, contact Sneham at 1-(800)-22-5757 or click here to find their Facebook page to learn more about treating your depression. If you’re observing symptoms in your friends or family, reach out to them and let them know that they have the outlets to get help.


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