100 calls a day, mental health helpline a hit
MUMBAI: Life in fast-paced Mumbai seems to be taking a toll on its citizens. In just four days after the BMC launched its mental health helpline on May 14, as many as 352 calls were received. Currently, the 24-hour helpline is receiving between 85 and 100 calls a day.
According to the initial data, one-third of the calls to the helpline was from people above the age of 50 and they had issues like depression and irritability. The second highest number of calls was from those aged between 30 and 40 , who were facing anxiety and work-related stress.
Experts say the sheer number of calls on the helpline shows that the mental health of the people in the city is falling. People are looking for a medium to vent their thoughts and this helpline aims to do just that.
Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said the response has been overwhelming. The BMC will have to eventually increase the number of lines connected to the helpline, she said. “We have appointed three counsellors to work in three shifts. We have also instructed them that in case there is a very difficult case, they should suggest to the caller that he/she should take an appointment in KEM Hospital’s psychiatry outpatient department so that he/she can be given a personal counselling session,”said Mhaiskar. She said they are not insisting that the callers give out their names and personal details.
The helpline, launched by the mayor, will be operated by KEM Hospital’s psychiatric department. To call the helpline, dial: 022-24131212.
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