The Society for the Severely Mentally Handicapped, Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan (SSMH) is a voluntary welfare organization established in 1984 and registered with the Registrar of Societies with the objective of providing rehabilitation facilities to children and youths with severe mental and physical (multiple) disabilities. Following this objective, a Day Care and Training Centre was set up in June 1985.
The Centre started with a small group of severely mentally disabled children and 4 staff. Today, the Centre has 10 Staff comprising an Administrator, a Physiotherapist, an Occupational Therapist, a Speech Therapist, 5 Teachers and a Housekeeper. It has an enrolment of 20 children in the Individual Education Program, and 9 teens and young adults in the Living Skills Group.
Over the years the Centre has expanded its programs from simple day care with some physical activities to the current program which aims to provide training to maximise the children's functional skills including motor, cognitive, communication, social and self-help skills.
Working with the full-time staff are volunteers including paediatricians, college students, home makers and friends and families of SSMH - people who have contributed some of their time, resources and services to help towards the efficient running of the Centre.
Currently, rehabilitation services for the severely mentally disabled are being provided by both the Government and by private voluntary organizations. However, not many cater specifically to helping to train those with multiple disabilities. The Society is thus focused on efforts to meet the needs of this group of special children.
The Society requires about RM 21,000 monthly to maintain and run the Training Centre. Funds for this centre come from donations received from the general public as well as some annual government grants from the Department of Social Welfare. Funds are also obtained through various fundraising events which are organized several times a year. The generous support of many caring Malaysians has indeed gone a long way towards helping us make life more meaningful for the children and their families. That support has also enabled us to refurbish our training centre to make it a lot more conducive to the training activities for the children.
What We Do
The Society for the Severely Mentally Handicapped was established not only to care for but also to create public awareness about children with severe multiple disabilities.
- To provide day care and education for the severely mentally disabled children and youths, aged 2 to 19 years who belong to one or more of the following categories:
- those who are mentally handicapped but can still respond to skill training in the use of legs, hands and jaws;
- those who are mentally handicapped but can benefit from systematic habit training;
- those who are mentally handicapped but can learn simple communication skills, basic health and safety habits, simple manual skills and perhaps some basic reading and arithmetic skills;
- those who are mentally handicapped but with additional handicaps such as physical impairment and /or serious personal / behavior problems related to their disabilities.
- To promote and stimulate research concerning severely mentally handicapped persons and to develop locally appropriate methods of rehabilitation, education and vocational training.
- To develop better public understanding and awareness, especially among parents and guardians, of the needs of children with severe multiple disabilities.
- To raise funds to enable the Society to achieve its objectives.