The National Mental Health Crisis Line or HEAL Line 15555 (Help with Empathy and Love), the first crisis hotline in the country, has recorded 24,346 calls as of August this year.

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan said of the total, 15,907 (65 per cent) of clients received support and emotional help while 8,479 (35 per cent) had been given specific interventions.

“Of the number who received specific interventions, 206 are cases of suicidal behaviour, including suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.

“Some 89 cases of suicidal ideation were treated and 117 cases of suicide attempts were successfully referred to hospital for treatment through MERS999 activation and collaboration with the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the emergency department,” he said in a statement today.

The hotline, which has been operational since Oct 21 last year, is handled by the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) psychology (counselling) officers and currently operates from 8 am to midnight daily, including public holidays.

Dr Muhammad Radzi said the ministry was also carrying out other initiatives such as the MYSAVE (Malaysia Suicide Awareness Voice of Hope) programme and the implementation of a suicide prevention training module for frontline staff.

He said the MySAVE programme was launched on July 31, and involves monitoring media coverage of suicides.

“The National Suicide and Fatal Injury Registry Malaysia (NSFIRM) is expected to be operational in 2024.

“This system will enable detailed and accurate statistics on suicide incidents to be obtained and targeted prevention measures to be taken,” he said.

Dr Muhammad Radzi said the police had reported that the number of suicide cases had slightly dropped to 981 cases in 2022, compared to 1,142 cases in 2021.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency