There is still insufficient number of psychologists to provide counselling in the country, as the counsellor-to-individual ratio is 1:52,000 when the normal ratio is 1:500.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said currently there are only 148 counselling psychologists serving the Health Ministry (MOH).
“In principle, this number is insufficient, but we are working with various agencies for the purpose of providing counselling services,” he told the daily media conference on COVID-19 development here today.
He said mental health services have been enhanced through digital systems and technology and virtual psychosocial support and counselling are being provided by the MOH, using the latest applications.
Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry has to date received 9,338 calls from individuals in need of support and most of the issues were related to stress and anxiety, as well as social factors such as loss of employment, lack of income and interpersonal relationship problems.
In addition, issues related to COVID-19 information were also raised by individuals who expressed concern and fear of the pandemic, barely having access to basic necessities, being faced with financial challenges and domestic abuse. – Bernama