In 1970, a group of pioneer Malaysians was concerned about the emotional wellbeing of the community after the occurrence of communal riots on 13 May 1969.
With the assistance of professional psychiatrists and psychologists from University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, The Befrienders Kuala Lumpur was established.
The Befrienders is a non-profit organisation modeled after Samaritans, a movement started in London in 1953 by Dr Chad Varah. Since then, the movement has spread around the world under the umbrella body called Befrienders Worldwide.
Today, Befrienders Worldwide has an impact on suicide and suicidal behaviour through a network of 169 independent emotional support centres in 29 countries. These centres provide an open space for those in distress to talk and be heard.