KUCHING, Oct 30: A Sarawak-based helpline with operating hours beyond office hours will be launched this year to answer distress calls from Sarawakians of diverse backgrounds.
“There are currently many helplines, but there isn’t one in Sarawak, with locals knowing the local cultures and speaking the same mother tongues,” said Sarawak Women and Family Department director Noriah Ahmad.
Noriah added that the helpline would involve more non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as she found that they are passionate to work to address social problems together.
Other than the language barrier, Noriah stressed that it is important to respond to the critical call for help immediately, appropriately and with a heartfelt touch.
The department had thus organised a workshop titled “Touching with the Heart” for para-counsellors to emphasise the ways to engage with the people who need help and advice.
Attended by some 60 participants from various government departments and NGOS as well as volunteers, the two-day workshop organised by the department and Wanita Nur Hikmah Counseling Centre aims to educate participants on basic human psychology needs, the differences between women and men, and how to use art therapy.
Assistant Minister of Community Well Being Datuk Francis Harden Hollis who officiated at the workshop hoped that more para-counselors could be trained to minimise family problems in society.
Meanwhile, the department is organising a Family Walk and Ride event this Nov 4 and members of the public are invited to join in at 6am at the Old State Assembly Building. — Dayak Daily.