News : Call Centre to Prevent Suicides Launched
Hyderabad, India, Sept 11, 2015 -- To help those stuck in despairing situations that drive them to attempt suicide, Aarogyasri Health Care Trust has launched a round-the-clock suicide prevention counselling cell. As a symbolic gesture, authorities chose Thursday, which was World Suicide Prevention Day, to formally launch the counselling centre, which will function out of the existing 104 call centre at Koti.
The suicide prevention counselling centre is part of the 104 call centre that was launched a while ago to provide information related to various kinds of ailments to public. Apart from handling calls on diseases like malaria, dengue and seasonal ailments, on an average, everyday the 104 call centre receives at least two to three calls from persons on the verge of attempting suicide.
The counselling centre was launched by Health Minister, Dr. C Laxma Reddy. In fact, the Minister also attempted to talk to a caller and tried to counsel him on prevention of suicide. Senior mental health experts during the launch said that there was a need to improve accessibility to mental health care like providing psychiatry units in tertiary teaching hospitals in Hyderabad including OGH and Gandhi Hospital.
"We have trained counsellors who are available round the clock to talk to persons out of desperate situations. Quite often, after calling once, they give up. But, we have outbound teams, who will again get in touch with them and if possible even visit them," says GM, 104 call centre, K. Shashishree.. "Yes, there is a rise in the number of young people who need psychiatric and psychological help. We keep organising workshops to update knowledge base of our counsellors," she said.
The typical age group of persons seeking help from suicidal agencies fall in the 15 and 32
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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