'Next of kin not easily swayed by online news'

'Next of kin not easily swayed by online news'

PUTRAJAYA - The families of those onboard Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 have more faith in the information relayed by the authorities than those circulating over the Internet about the missing plane.

Public Services Department's Psychological Management Division senior assistant director Juwairiyah Jaafar said families were not easily swayed by the news they read online as it lacked concrete evidence and were more inclined to believe the information relayed by the authorities. She said counsellors assigned to provide psychological support to families of passengers had been advising them not to read too much into social media reports or believe rumours that were circulating in their quest for updates on the aircraft, as such information could upset them further.

Juwariyah is among 47 counsellors on standby at The Everly Hotel here to provide round-the-clock support for families. She said despite the trauma, families were putting on a brave front and turning to praying for strength and solace.

"They are relying on their faith and the Muslim families have been performing solat hajat to ease their anxiety as they await news of their loved ones."

She said several families had sought the services of counsellors and the sessions were held either in their rooms or a private area at the establishment.

"Our approach cannot be intrusive and we have to wait for the families to come to us. We are always ready to listen and help them in any way we can."

She said, at this stage, the families were prepared for any eventuality.

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