NGO Launches Toll-free Hotline For Assistance Of Mental Sickness
The Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative, an NGO, has launched a toll-free hotline for persons suffering from mental sickness.
The hotline will link them to counsellors or therapists for advice and help.
Titilayo Tade, the training coordinator of SURPIN, Titilayo Tade, said this at a news conference in Lagos on Thursday.
She stated that the goal was to prevent suicide tendencies. So, this would be an avenue where people with such challenges could speak out and seek help.
Tade revealed that the newly launched free hotline number – 0800 078 7746. This new number would replace the previous fee-paying lines. She added that “the old English and Hausa speaking lines – 09034400009 and 08142241007 are still valid.’’
She said in the past, most persons complained of the charges/fees paid for placing a phone call to SURPIN. Tade explained that the toll-free hotline would provide relief to people with a financial burden.
She noted that:
- The free line will help to prevent and reduce suicide cases in the country.
- It will also increase access to mental health services. This is because SURPIN has offices in all states of the federation.
“With the free line, people can easily call in respect of the challenges they are facing at any point and we will give them the necessary counselling or even direct them to an appropriate mental health facility for medical attention.
“In the past, we’ve had calls concerning people on the verge of committing suicide or even people that drink substances to terminate their lives.
But through the calls, SURPIN came in and rescued them.’’
The coordinator identified stress and depression as factors that could lead to suicide.
She noted that suicide and other outcomes of mental ill-health are on the increase in Nigeria.
“We are dealing with a lot of issues in the country; businesses are falling, things are expensive, cash is hard to come by and the basic amenities are lacking, affecting the mental health of many.
“Problems can make people vulnerable to suicide, aggression, violence, and other anti-social behaviours.
“The statistics may not be there, but by observation, people are bottling up their emotions and challenges, instead of speaking out.
“There is a need for people to speak out; let us not be intimidated to bottle up our anxieties, challenges, and frustrations; considering suicide should never be an option for life challenges of any sort.
“We should learn to share our worries, speak out and seek help because a problem shared is half-solved,’’ she said.
Tade stressed that hiding emotions and challenges were the highest tendencies that causes suicide.
She said that the first line for managing life challenges or depression was counselling and therapy, adding that it could be from family members, friends, religious leaders, and medical experts.
She warned that an individual should not wait until he or she was battered, violated, injured, or close to committing suicide, before seeking help.
Source: PUNCH HealthWise