A lot of companies and organisations are adapting and changing along with the movement control order (MCO). The Befrienders KL is one of the crucial organisations that needed to make things work, as more and more people are feeling anxious during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the MCO now extended to April 14, medical experts cautioned that information overload may lead to mental health issues, especially when confined to their homes with a constant stream of news updates.
Kenny Lim, executive director of The Befrienders KL, stated:
In the first seven days of MCO, there was a 13 per cent increase in the number of calls received where nine per cent of those calls were due to issues related to Covid-19 or the MCO.
The organisation was able to operate in the early stages of the MCO with approval by the Petaling Jaya District Police, but when it was extended, they were advised to find other alternative solutions as the district that they operated in started to record a high concentration of Covid-19 cases.
While everyone reacts or responds differently to stressful situations, here are a few signs for when a person might require psychosocial support, according to the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network (MHPSS):
- A drastic change in their sleeping pattern
- Changes in appetite
- Extreme mood changes (Like easily irritated, or extremely sad)
- Severe tiredness or fatigue
- Withdrawal from family members and friends
- Difficulty in focusing or concentrating
- Losing interest in the things they love to do
- Increased desire for alcohol or tobacco
You can also check on 8 other centres across the country who coordinate and collaborate under the umbrella of the National Council of Befrienders Malaysia (NCOBM) for how you can reach them here.