Do you know of someone who needs help?

We can work with you to help the person in need.

You may be worried about someone who always seems to be unhappy, mentions suicide or has withdrawn from contact with other people. You may be worried about a partner, a child, a parent, a friend, a co-worker or a neighbor.

You can do a surprising amount with very little effort. Listening saves lives. Be there with them and be prepared to listen.

To help someone in distress:

  • Let the person talk to you.
  • Try not to give advice or share your experiences.
  • They need time and space, patience and care.
  • They need to feel that they are not alone. Just your presence may save a life.

If you feel that someone you know may be depressed or contemplating suicide, we highly encourage you to get the person you are concerned about to call or email us personally. But if we do make contact, our confidentiality rule will mean that we cannot tell you what is said, or even whether the contact was made.

Being close to someone who is in distress can be very hard. We are also here to support you and listen to your concerns and fears.


The Befrienders offer absolute confidentiality.

We do not have caller ID on our telephones.

Nothing that our callers say or write to us ever goes beyond the centre - whatever the circumstances, age of the caller or state of mind. There are no exceptions to this rule unless you the caller gives us permission to do so depending on the situation.

Our Services

The Befrienders Penang came into existence in the year 1978. The service started with a small group of 12 volunteers offering a three hour service on weekdays. We are actively pursuing our ambition of providing a 24 hour service.

The service that we offer is called Befriending. Befriending is non-judgmental, confidential support that allows the caller to express his or her fears, worries and feelings to someone who has the time to listen. We offer this service in a number of ways:

  • A telephone hotline service every day of the year
  • Email befriending