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News : Free Helpline in Nigeria Supports Those with COVID-19 Mental Health Struggles

#contactcenterworld

Abuja, Nigeria, may 18, 2021 -- Nigerian officials say social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the economy have tripled the number of mental health cases. In response, Nigeria has launched a toll-free 24-hour helpline staffed by trained psychologists and counselors.

A crowd cheers as a mental health counselor responds to the first call on the COVID-19 psychosocial hotline during its launch in Abuja.

It’s Nigeria’s first toll-free line focused on mental health issues and part of a joint effort between the government and a group of private counselors to address increasing mental health cases in the country.

Nigeria's minister of special duties, George Akume, was at the launch.

"The virus has done a lot of damage to societies across the world economically, socially, politically and healthwise," said Akume. "That is why counseling has become an important tool to control the behavior of people who have been affected."

Psychologist Aisha Abdullahi heads the team of counselors working the helpline.

In April 2020, she started free online counseling after seeing a significant jump in the number of mental health cases after Nigeria had recorded rising cases of the coronavirus.
She says the uncertainty associated with the pandemic at the time caused an increase in anxiety and panic attacks. As a result, as many as 5,000 people reached out to her and her team.

Abdullahi expects even more to seek help through the new helpline.

"This is a pilot phase," said Abdullahi. "We're anticipating that we're going to get a lot of calls, and we're looking at expanding. So, that's why we're calling on partner organizations, collaborations, so that we'll be able to expand and meet up to the needs of the calls that we get."

Experts say that even though the number of people needing mental health services tripled during the pandemic, less than 10 percent get help because of the stigma attached to it.

Nineteen-year-old Pelemo Ava Nyajo says she had suffered from depression for years after a surgical procedure on her legs. As her situation deteriorated, she contemplated suicide.

She says she eventually overcame suicidal thoughts after working with counselors who were raising awareness on mental health issues.

"I was already in seclusion," said Nyajo. "I was isolated because everyone will go out, go to work, go to school and just leave me alone in the house. That gave more room for the negative thoughts to grow and to affect me mentally."

Authorities and the team of counselors are hoping that a toll-free line will help increase awareness and that more people will get the help they need.

#contactcenterworld

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.voanews.com


About ContactCenterWorld:
Company Logo# ContactCenterWorld ContactCenterWorld is The Global Association for Contact Center & Customer Engagement Best Practices. Today we have over 215,000 corporate 'individual' members have joined the association's website 'ContactCenterWorld.com'. We were established in 1999. www.contactcenterworld.com
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Today's Tip of the Day - Keys To Technology

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, May 21, 2021

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2022 Buyers Guide Automated Call Distributors

 
1.) 
Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.


2.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS inbound call center software caters to all incoming customer requests. These incoming requests can come through any channel of customer’s choice e.g. voice, video, email, chat, WhatsApp, facebook etc.. company page or from an integrated website chat. Using InterDailog UCCS call centers can respond to inquiries of the customers and they can also register the complaints of customer as a customer support desk.

3.) 
voiptime

Voiptime Contact Center
Our contact center solution allows processing the high volume of client requests from different channels (voice, webchat, email, web callbacks), running massive outbound dialing campaigns, and makes all call center operations visible for management. Voiptime Cloud Contact Center is a professional calling solution for outbound and inbound calls. It’s a plug-and-play software that immediately increases the productivity of your call center department. With the help of our solution you are able to:
- Automate lead prospecting and have 4x more live conversations daily;
- Increase the agent occupancy up to 80-90% with the help of the fastest Predictive dialer;
- Smooth out the peaks of calls by...
(read more)
 

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