The suicide prevention help line numbers are facing a dearth of resources.

Published on January 28, 2020 by

The suicide prevention numbers in the city lack proper fund, resources, and enough volunteers.
Some of these numbers are run by private hospitals and some by NGOs. The founders of these
helpline numbers are disappointed at the lack of government-run helpline numbers.
Vanita Naval, co-founder of MITRAM foundation that is supported by Samarthanam NGO
expresses her views on this crisis, “Right now we work for 4 hours. We would happily extend the
hours if we are able to get more volunteers and get better place and resources that are required to run
the center”.
When City cast called the helplines numbers listed on the internet, it found that some of the calls go
directly to the answering machine and some of the numbers do not exist.
On being asked about the volunteer crisis, the founder and CEO of Sa-Mudra foundation, Bharathi Singh
said, “There is a shortage of trained counselors. We take people who are interested in counseling and
train them but they do not stick on for a long time because there are a lot of opportunities available for
these so no matter how much commitment they give they get trained and every 8-10 months they keep
moving out. Continuity is an issue.”
Doctors emphasize the need of regularly working helplines as the patients are already at risk. “If
someone is calling the helplines the person definitely wants to resolve certain doubtful issues in the
head which is causing the suicidal thoughts. Some of them try to reach out for help continuously but
some of them, on seeing that the helplines are not working might actually attempt suicide”, said Dr.
Geetha Appachu. The number of callers varies from time to time with 2-3 calls to even 30 calls per day.

To handle the problem the founders of the helpline numbers suggest that government can form a
body with like-minded people and ask them what kind of resources they need.

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