Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how many calls has the National Care Hotline received between 1 August 2020 and 1 August 2021; and (b) whether there are any trends which have been detected in terms of the issues faced by callers.
1. Mental well-being is a pertinent issue, and has been brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the start of the circuit breaker, the Ministry of Social and Family Development and Ministry of Health set up a dedicated National CARE Hotline, to provide emotional and psychological first aid to those who have been affected by COVID-19.
2. The hotline has managed over 45,000 calls since it commenced operations in April 2020. The number of calls managed by the hotline has decreased from a monthly average of 9,800 during the circuit breaker period to an average of 1,600 calls in recent months. Since inception of the hotline, the common issues faced by callers have consistently included the need for emotional support, mental health, as well as marital and family issues. Callers who need further psychological help are referred to public healthcare institutions or community service providers for follow-up.