Monday June 18, 2012
Attend to people with extreme emotional distress, MRC told
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: Society in general, and voluntary organisations in particular, that are involved in humanitarian causes have been reminded again on the need to provide a safe haven for people suffering from extreme emotional distress.
Chairman of the local chapter of the Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC), Tan Sri Dr George Chan, yesterday said society already had mechanisms that could help victims of natural disasters and other physical calamities.
So it is high time that safe havens be created to help people suffering from serious emotional problems because they were on the rise, especially in urban areas, he said.
He called on the MRC to take the leading role in coming up with such a safe haven for the emotionally afflicted.
The MRC had already shown how capable and effective it is in helping victims of natural disasters, accidents, fires and wars, and even epidemics.
The MRC can play added roles in helping those affected by new categories of afflictions such as those who were emotionally distressed, he said.
“The MRC endeavours to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found, but what kind of suffering do we mean?,” he asked.
“MRC as a whole has broaden its scope of activities to reach victims of natural disasters, the sick and wounded in times of war, and improvement of health and prevention of diseases.
“We will need more people to expand our reach in humanitarian, social and welfare services.
“This calls for us to be attentive to those in the midst of suffering; the countless humans suffering from mankind’s cruelties to each other; and discrimination and emotional abuses of all sorts.
“These emotional sufferings warrant our attention and actions also.”
He was speaking on Saturday night while attending an MRC ceremony for the presentation of certificates of appreciation and long-service medals to volunteers who have served the organisation for a long time.
Dr Chan said the MRC could be a venue for vulnerable people to seek help in times of difficulties.
He praised the volunteers for their services and dedication, saying that without them, the MRC would not have developed into the humanitarian organisation that it is today.
He described the Miri volunteers as the most dedicated group of people he had ever come into contact with.
Among the nearly 180 volunteers who got their awards was a wheelchair-bound volunteer, Lahung Ngau.
Lahung, who is handicapped from young, has been serving as a volunteer for the MRC for the past 18 years.
She helps at the headquarters in the information-technology section, preparing media releases and other communication materials.
Lahung is also a teacher at Miri Sunflower Centre, a day-care and rehabilitation centre for handicapped children.
MRC Miri second vice chairman, Judy Morshidi, said Lahung was a very dedicated person who served without expecting recognition.
Lahung was in tears when she received her awards.