Free psychological help extended to May 15

GEORGE TOWN: The free psychological first aid offered by Wawasan Open University (WOU) in partnership with the International College of Clinical Hypnotherapy Practitioners (ICCHP) Asia will now be extended until May 15 owing to the overwhelming response received.

The aid comes in view of the mental challenges that the people, especially families, are experiencing during the movement control order (MCO), which has now entered its 52nd day.

A total of 223 people had reached out for help in relation to the Covid- 19 pandemic from April 1 to 25.

The programme is scheduled to continue past the anticipated relaxation of the MCO to handle post-traumatic stress from the prolonged lockdown.

The team from ICCHP Asia assisted callers with tips and skills to better manage their challenging emotions.

Although the free psychological service was set up mainly for the frontliners, there were many calls from the people due to various losses and the restrictions, WOU said in a statement.

Suicidal cases were referred to the team’s on-call psychiatrists for clinical assessment, advanced help and close monitoring.

The team helped to calm distressed callers and enabled them to better cope with the current uncertainties and make informed decisions.

Where practical assistance was needed, they worked with the Members of Parliament in the areas concerned to provide urgent assistance, such as medical emergencies, ambulance services and food aid.

Sixteen professionals from ICCHP Asia, including six psychiatrists, are offering support over the telephone.

All conversations are private and confidential.

Students who are doing complete online learning remotely from their homes or elsewhere are also encouraged to call in if they are feeling stressed during the MCO period.

Feel free to call ICCHP Asia from 9am to 9pm daily from now until May 15 as per below, or email to arrange a convenient time to chat: 0124447032 / 0169271240/ 0124856404 (9am-12pm);

0123021262 / 0124080675/ 0123741558 (12pm-3pm);

0174777746 / 0124736830 / 0164979876 (3pm-6pm);

0122212906 / 0195645868 / 0124252962 (6pm-9pm)

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