Kenny Lim

Befrienders is a non-profit organisation providing free emotional support continuously, day and night. The organisation came to be following the communal riots that took place in May 1969 when the citizens of Kuala Lumpur had nowhere to turn to if they needed to speak about their worries or empty out their feelings, having no choice but to carry their restlessness on their backs. Worried about their mental and emotional states, however, a group of Malaysians consisting of psychiatrists and psychologists from University Hospital banded together to start Befrienders Kuala Lumpur.

Kenny Lim is the executive director of Befrienders Kuala Lumpur. Callers are given the option of staying anonymous for privacy reasons. He plays a pivotal role at Befrienders as a trained volunteer in providing emotional support via telephone, e-mail and face-to-face to those who are feeling depressed and suicidal. He also facilitates support for suicide loss survivors. Kenny also trains and supervises new volunteers, ensuring they provide the best possible care to anyone calling in. He frequently gives talks and runs workshops for various groups on topics such as active listening and suicide prevention. Within a time span of 2015 until 2021, calls to the Befrienders hotline have doubled from 21,256 to 44,408.

Impact for me is working together in sharing knowledge and information to reduce the stigma on mental health issues and suicide. This is with the hope that anyone who is struggling emotionally will be able to reach out for help without the fear of being judged.

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