Battle in Malaysia and Thailand to stay mentally healthy amid Covid-19 pandemic, Southeast Asia News and Top Stories

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Mental health conditions have worsened during the coronavirus pandemic, as people struggle with anxiety, loss of loved ones and isolation. The Straits Times examines the situation in Malaysia and Thailand, and speaks to those struggling to get better.


As Covid-19 cases increase in Thailand, more people seek help to cope with mental load

Tammy (not her real name) has counted the days until the end of her 14-day quarantine. She finds herself unable to eat or sleep and most often feels stressed.

Five of the 10 members of his family have contracted Covid-19, including his 72-year-old mother, who is seriously ill. Others who don’t have the virus, like Tammy, 26, have been in isolation for a week.

During their daily video calls, Tammy can hear her mother’s labored breathing as she lies on her hospital bed, hooked up to a ventilator. It hurts him to speak, so they don’t say much.

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Covid-19 lockdown leads to increase in adolescent mental health problems in Malaysia

While the coronavirus pandemic has caused new mental health problems in some people in Malaysia due to the long periods of confinement, pre-existing conditions in others have also worsened, and young people and children are no exception.

A teenage girl told the Straits Times that cabin fever resulting from being indoors too long and learning online made her feel overwhelmed.

“I can’t get away from my parents when they argue. They argue a lot, especially when the lockdown has started, and honestly they still have a hard time getting along,” the teenager said. 17-year-old who asked no to be named.

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Malaysia opens first charity hotel offering Covid-19 meals, beds, tips and jabs

Malaysia’s first charity hotel has opened in Kuala Lumpur, providing meals, beds, counseling and Covid-19 vaccines to those hard hit by the pandemic.

The 600-room Rumah Prihatin @ Grand Seasons – “rumah prihatin” means caring house – occupies the premises of the former Grand Seasons Hotel which closed two years ago.

The chefs at the charity hotel, which once served large banquets, now run a soup kitchen for the poor as well as the frontline. It has served around 15,000 food packages since the hotel opened on July 15.

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Acquire help

National helpline for care: 1 800-202-6868 (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Mental well-being

Fei Yue’s online consulting service: EC2.sg website (Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
Institute of Mental Health Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
Singapore Samaritans: 1800-221-4444 (24 hours) / 1-767 (24 hours)
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1 800-283-7019 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Singapore Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928 / 6509-0271 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Ringing Friend: 1-800-274-4788 (Monday to Friday 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) / Tinkle Friend website (Monday to Thursday 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Advice

TOUCHline (Council): 1 800-377-2252 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Care Corner Counseling Center (Mandarin): 1 800-353-5800 (Daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)


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