The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development has been asked to create a special hotline for the disabled community to help them cope with the challenging situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO).
Senator Ras Adiba Radzi, said the current challenging situation had caused a large number of persons with disabilities (PwDs) to feel depressed. Previous international studies have shown that this group is among those at high risk for suicidal ideation due to serious depression.
Ras Adiba, who is the president of OKU Sentral, a non-governmental organisation that fights for the rights of PwDs, said although currently there is the Talian Kasih hotline under the ministry, it is not specifically designated for the disabled, who need a different approach and have different needs from the general public.
“They may also be reluctant to contact the existing line because they think there is a possibility of being laughed at or what they are trying to convey may not be fully understood by individuals in charge.
“Therefore, this special line will allow them to contact psychiatrists or counsellors directly to talk and share the problems they are facing so that they (the disabled community) do not feel isolated in the current situation,” she said.
Ras Adiba said this after presenting donations to the disabled community affected by floods at the Kuala Krau parliamentary service centre here today, which was also attended by the patron of the Kuala Krau community-based rehabilitation centre (PPDK) Datin Seri Nor Azimah Abdul Mubin.
The donation of 300 packages of essential items from the Sime Darby Foundation, which was channelled through the OKU Sentral, was also presented to Madrasah Ad-Dinniah Al-Ismailiah in Kampung Paya Jauh here, which was also affected by the floods.
Ras Adiba, who is also the chairman of the the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), called on individuals who are qualified in the field of counselling, psychiatry and psychology, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to support the effort to create the special hotline.
The OKU Sentral, according to Ras Adiba, is now actively going into the field to meet with the disabled community to provide moral support and listen to the problems they face.
Meanwhile, P. Saraswathy, 44, who has a special needs child P. Danusha, 13, said that the donation would ease the family financial burden after their house in Taman Mewah, Kuala Krau was flooded for 10 days from Jan 3.
“We moved to a temporary centre (PPS) in a rush because the water rose too fast and we only managed to grab a few things including milk,” said the mother of five children.
Meanwhile, the madrasah manager, Muhammad Yani Ariffin, 54, said that the floods, which lasted more than a week from Jan 5, had caused the entire building on the two-hectare plot, including 180 huts for senior citizens and students, to be submerged.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency