News : Suicide Helpline SNEHA is Still Looking for Volunteers
Chennai, India, June 18, 2015 -- Nearly 30 years and 1.5 lakh potentially suicidal callers later, suicide helpline SNEHA is still in need of volunteers to man the lines and answer mailers.
"We have a real crunch now because we are handling our call volume and counselling load with about 50 volunteers. We could use a whole lot more because the number of calls is constantly going up," said Srikumar, Director, SNEHA.
With Tamil Nadu recording the highest suicide rates in the country, according to stats available with the NCRB, the need for suicide counselling has skyrocketed - much like SNEHA's need for volunteers. "We're looking at people who are over 20 and can speak English and Tamil and have the right kind of attitude and mental set-up to help people out.
They also need to be able to dedicate a specific 4 hour slot once a week and they can join us," he added. In comparison to the 104 helpline, which handled close to 7000 calls during the exam result season this year, SNEHA had a workload of some 100 odd calls. With their hands full, allowing people with suicidal intentions or worry to vent and get over it, the helpline has been getting along with a few good volunteers.
Despite the slight shift from call-ins to e-mails from depressed people, close to 40 calls are still logged in on any given day, said Srikumar, accentuating the acute need for quality help.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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SNEHA operates a suicide hotline in India.
Published: Friday, June 19, 2015