It’s hard to ignore the reality of what’s happening in our country here today. More and more citizens are living in destitute conditions as witnessed from the Rakyat’s #BenderaPutih (white flag) movement, which encourages affected citizens who are in dire need of food and living essentials to hang a white flag in front of their homes so the community can help out. Meanwhile, the suicide rate is rising as revealed by the Director of the police’s Criminal Investigation Department. As many as 468 cases were reported from January to May 2021 with Selangor recording the highest numbers to date at 117 cases.
These facts may be disconcerting but there’s something we can all do together as a community to prevent it, which actor Henry Golding, who currently resides in Los Angeles, California, highlights in his recent video message posted on Instagram today.
“This is a really hard video to make, but it’s important that I try my best to say something. I know that Malaysia is going through so, so much at the moment with the response to COVID-19 and the endless amounts of lockdown you have to go through,” he says.
“One thing we take for granted is our mental state, our emotional fragility. It’s one of the things that we overlook all the time and it has become real aspects of our daily lives, and that’s thoughts of suicide.”
“Many people have done without human interaction for so long and it’s only natural for thoughts to sort of go dark. One thing that I wanted to tell everybody I could was that there are friends who are thinking of you. There are people out there who care for you and are worried about your well-being.”
“What I want people to do is to think of three friends; think of three people who may need that text, may need that small call of say, three to four minutes, just to check in on them.”
“My challenge for you all is to think of those three friends, give them a call, give them a text, and really check in on them. Really ask how they’re doing. Just having that small outreach could prevent something absolutely disastrous from happening, so please look into that.”
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The Health Director-General, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah states that the pandemic has had a huge impact on mental health worldwide and certain individuals have a high risk of experiencing mental health problems when faced with overwhelming stress and isolation from their support network.
If your or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please reach out to your loved ones or seek emotional support from these numbers below:
BEFRIENDERS: 03-76272929 or 03-7956 8145 (24 hours)
MALAYSIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION (MMHA): 03-2780 6803
ALL WOMEN’S ACTION SOCIETY (AWAM): 03-7877 0224. Hotline: 016-2374221, 016-2284221
WOMEN’S AID ORGANIZATION (WAO): WAO Hotline: +603 3000 8858 (24 hours) SMS/WhatsApp TINA: +6018 988 8058 (24 hours)