Befrienders: Answering Calls for Help, Solving Social Issues

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Ladies from the Johor Bahru Happy and Joyous Club pose for a picture. They entertained guests with a group dance to Rasa Sayang

Suicide is not your own problem, it is a social problem,” believes Befrienders Johor Bahru who had celebrated their 12th anniversary with Building Fund Charity Dinner at Restoran Sutera Pekin.

Befrienders Johor Bahru offers emotional listening support through confidential “befriending” hotlines and answers phone calls from anybody who wants to be heard in times of need. Established in 2006, the organisation has grown from 16 to 62 trained volunteers; its roots from a room above a pharmacy in Taman Pelangi to its current rented premise in Taman Melodies. Operating every day from 1 pm – 12 midnight, Befrienders JB hope to remove the “Suicidal” stigma, alleviate feelings of misery, loneliness, despair and depression through listening. Phone calls are strictly confidential.

With the RM500,000 goal of the Building Fund Charity Dinner, they seek to purchase their current rented premise and build facilities for training, workshop, and face-to-face consultations. Members of the public are welcome to utilise the service of free emotional listening support. Befrienders JB are opening recruitment for more volunteers and their aim is to train community members to identify emotional problems amongst family, friends, and colleagues and be there for them. The fund has collected RM332,000 as of end of September.
Befrienders JB received 5226 calls from July 2017 – June 2018, with a data of 54% male and 46% female callers. The biggest age groups were 21 – 30 and 41 – 50, both at 31% each. Calls from teenagers are the lowest; with only 3% of total data coming from age 20 and below.

Befrienders Johor Bahru hotline can be reached at 07-331 2300. They also have an email befriending service at [email protected] .