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Kuala Lumpur, 1 April 2022

Allianz Malaysia Berhad (Allianz Malaysia) – via its corporate social responsibility arm, Allianz4Good – will continue its efforts in 2022, to support the recovery of communities affected by the impacts of COVID-19.

Allianz4Good kickstarted the year by partnering with the Malaysian Medical Relief Society (MERCY Malaysia) and Thrive Well, to support their mental health programmes. This is in line with the company’s objectives to promote social inclusion, as well as to address a pressing societal need to aid the public, particularly the vulnerable, and low-income communities.

Head of Allianz4Good, Ng Siew Gek said, “A lot of people experienced grief and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, and sometimes, the impact is so great that it may lead to deteriorating mental health conditions. 

“We want to do much more than just acknowledge the issues at hand and raise better awareness. More importantly, how do we lend a helping hand to those in need, especially in providing easy access to available and affordable mental health programmes for those in need,” she said.

Ng added that unchecked, this can lead to deterioration of both physical and mental health conditions and that is why early intervention is crucial.

The partnership with MERCY Malaysia commenced in January 2022 and will continue until December 2022. Through this partnership, Allianz Malaysia will fund the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) Helpline for 12 months, which will enable the helpline services continue to be provided free to the public.

The helpline provides crisis intervention services, which is made available via telephone or other online platforms which comply with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

MERCY Malaysia General Manager of Programme Operations, Mohammad Said Alhudzari Ibrahim commented, “The year started with back-to-back crises – prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, major floods, unanticipated landslides, and international geo-political instability, which have heightened the risk factors generally associated with anxiety and depression. Mindful of this, the MERCY Malaysia MHPSS Helpline continues to be an important platform in providing much needed early intervention and psychosocial support against the prevalence of poor mental health among communities in Malaysia. We are most appreciative of Allianz Malaysia’s trust and support towards MERCY Malaysia.”

Meanwhile, Allianz Malaysia is organising two community-based mental health programmes with the social enterprise Thrive Well, including KAMI Sembang and KAMI Juara.

KAMI Sembang is a programme that focuses on strengthening emotional resilience, building self-advocacy skills, and developing healthy familial communication for 24 mothers from the Rumah Pangsa Taman Keramat community in Kuala Lumpur.

As for KAMI Juara, the programme is designed to strengthen the self-efficacy and resilience of 20 youths from vulnerable backgrounds who are students at Buku Jalanan Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur. First session of KAMI Juara was held in early March and will run until the end of June.

Thrive Well Community Development Director, Cindy Chew Mei Lien said, "The KAMI programme uses a family and community strengthening approach to better support mental health. We trust that by enhancing communication and self-awareness within the family and the surrounding community, young people especially will develop greater self-efficacy and resilience in the face of challenging times.  This means working with parents, children and community leaders to better care for their own mental and emotional health so they can cohesively support one another.”

Last year, Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of Malaysians. Quoting the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Noor Hisham said a total of 638 suicide cases were reported as of July 2021, compared with 262 cases over the corresponding period in 2020, an increase of 143 percent or 1.4 times more.

Experts also believe that it is crucial for Malaysians to have access to mental health support as we learn to live with COVID-19, especially for youths. In addition, communities were also advised to organise more inclusive activities to allow for more and frequent interaction between the members.

To contact the MERCY MHPSS Helpline, call 03-29359935 from 8am to 5pm daily.

Head of Allianz4Good, Ng Siew Gek
The participants of KAMI Sembang from the Rumah Pangsa Taman Keramat