COVID-19: Counsellors to assist frontliners

COVID-19: Counsellors to assist frontliners

SERDANG, May 17 — The International Counselling Association of Malaysia (Perkama International) and Persatuan Profesion Psikologi Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (PSiKEM) today collaborated under the Malaysian Counsellors Solidarity programme to provide their expertise in helping frontliners in managing the impact of being exposed to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Perkama International president Datuk Dr Abd Halim Mohd Hussin said under the programme, counsellors across the country were now ready to assist either from the perspective of development, prevention or intervention.

“When confronted with the crisis which we are facing today, it is time for all professionals in counselling and mental health services to work together to address the psychological impact on the people as a result of the prolonged isolation process,” he said in a statement to Bernama here today.

Dr Abd Halim said Perkama International was also actively organising a series of online advocacy activities during the enforcement of the Movement Control Order since March 18, both for the counsellors and the public.

“Thus far, we have organised seven advocacy series, the nearest date is on May 19, where a talk entitled ‘Daya Tahan dalam Menghadapi Norma Baru’ (Resilience in Facing the New Normal) will be broadcast live on Perkama International Facebook page at 3 pm,” he said.

In addition, he said Perkama International and PSiKEM also took the initiative through the Psychological First Aid (PFA) Care Kit project by providing psychological care kit to support the psychological aspect and basic needs of frontline staff at the COVID-19 Low-Risk Patient Quarantine and Treatment Centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS).

“The PFA Care Kit project provides basic needs such as food and healthcare materials such as soap and hand sanitiser,” said Dr Abd Halim, who is also former director-general of the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK).

To date, Malaysia has over 9,000 trained counsellors including school counsellors.