PUTRAJAYA: The National Counselling Policy will be introduced to address the mental health issues in the community by empowering the counselling services, according to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM).
The ministry, in a statement today, said the move was among the matters agreed at the National Social Council meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin via video conference yesterday.
The meeting also raised the need for the involvement of all ministries and agencies to address mental health issues in the community as well as create social intervention measures on the matter.
It also said that the level of national preparedness and strategy for the ageing nation status by 2030 were also discussed, covering aspects of elderly care, finance and social protection, education, and employment for senior citizens through the formulation of the senior citizen action plan.
Apart from that, the meeting also discussed volunteering activities that offer vital help to the people in need, especially when the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The meeting agreed that there is a need to strengthen volunteerism through smart collaboration and to introduce the time bank scheme to encourage more active participation (of volunteers)," it said.
It added that one briefing paper and four papers for consideration were also discussed in the meeting, namely, the terms of reference of the National Social Council and the review of the National Social Policy and its direction.
The discussion also touched on the Action Plan for Social Sustainability towards an Ageing Nation 2030 as part of the country's preparation to be an ageing nation.
Other matters discussed included the relevant agencies should work in an integrated manner to address mental health issues; counselling services empowerment to serve as a support system as well as volunteerism empowerment with the agencies involved.
The meeting was also attended by Cabinet ministers, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali and Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman.