Don’t despair, help is near

Date:

KUCHING: “If you are in despair or have suicidal thoughts, remember you are not alone because help is available through various platforms for you.”

This is the advice of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah to members of the public after expressing her concern over the rise in reported suicide cases in Sarawak.

She said based on the police records, there were 37 suicide cases by May this year compared to 26 suicide cases in 2018, 36 cases in 2019 and 46 cases last year.  

She was speaking at a press conference on the establishment of the Community CHAT service at her office at Baitul Makmur II building Monday (July 12).

From the records, most of the cases involved males aged 18 and above, she added.

Fatimah said from January to May this year, there were as many as seven cases of attempted suicide recorded in the state while 15 attempted suicide cases each were recorded in 2018 and 2019, and 12 in 2020.

“There are multiple factors contributing to suicide risk. Besides Covid-19 fatigue, we need to look at the economic and mental health issues which vary from stress, anxiety, depression to suicidal behaviour,” she said.

Fatimah acknowledged the pandemic had affected the mental health of everyone from children to adults.

“Due to the pandemic, even children in primary schools are also affected. I have reports from parents that their children have become withdrawn.

“We think that children are not affected, but they are, too. So, we need to educate parents to be on the lookout for symptoms if their children are affected,” she said, adding that children might be stressed due to the lack of socialisation.

To address mental health issues in Sarawak, the minister added that since May last year to this month, about 47 mental health related programmes had been carried out by the various agencies including the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“For the same period, 634 counselling cases were handled by various agencies and NGOs in the state,” she said.

Fatimah added that the Sarawak Development Council also conducted a study on the community’s mental health including the effects of Covid-19 pandemic in order to prepare an action plan to address mental health problems in the state.

“We don’t want to see the suicide cases increasing. We want to tackle the issue when it is still in the budding stage,” she said.

Meanwhile, those who seek help and support can contact Sarawak Social Welfare Department’s Community CHAT service at 082- 311554 which is available 24 hours; the Mental Health Association (MHA) Kuching (082-231459); Befrienders Kuching (082-242800); Sarawak Women and Family Department Helpline (082-448866/1800-22-5566 (tollfree)/wkshelp@gmail.com); Ministry of Health (MOH) and Mercy Malaysia Volunteer’s Covid-19 Psychological Support Line (011-63996482/011-63994236/03-29359935); Talian Kasih (15999); Sarawak Women for Women Society Crisis Line (082-422660); Bodhi Counselling — 082-256428/256429  or Grace Centre Kuching (082-256411).

Statistics on suicide attempts and suicides.

Abang Johari receives Japanese visitors

BY JACINTHA JOLENE KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg received two courtesy calls at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia...

Share post:

Our Opinion

More like this
Related

Borneo Cultural Museum ready to welcome visitors mid-year

KUCHING: The Borneo Cultural Museum here, which is touted...

Water treatment plant in Lawas being mulled, says Awang Tengah

LAWAS: The state government plans to construct a water...

RM50 mln set aside to build state’s OKU community centre

KUCHING: Sarawak has approved RM50 million under the 12th...

Have a heart; provide OKU-friendly facilities

KUCHING: Building designers and authorities who issue occupation permits...

Welfare of retired athletes taken care of: Fatimah

KUCHING: Sarawak’s retired national athletes are well taken care...

Entertainer cum entrepreneur donates medical supplies to SGH

KUCHING: A Sarawak-born entertainer and entrepreneur Dr Jessie Chung...

Implementing agencies must nip problems early

SAMARAHAN: Contractors involved in the construction of major bridges...

Follow SOPs, Uggah tells ferry users

BY JACINTHA JOLENE KOTA SAMARAHAN: Ferry users are reminded to...