Industry Research : Helpline Getting More Calls Involving Loan Sharks and Gambling Issues
The Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) hotline says it is getting more calls about loan sharks issues and gambling problems.
It reported a sharp increase in the number of calls related to the two subjects.
The crisis call centre reported that compared with 2009, calls regarding problems with loansharks increased 61.5 per cent, and calls about gambling problems went up by 48.5 per cent from the same year.
These callers have a medium to high suicide risk and are difficult to engage, said SOS. Their most urgent appeal is usually for money to service their loans.
SOS says it refers some of these clients to community resources for help and support where appropriate.
For the last 41 years, the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) has been providing confidential 24-hour emotional support by trained volunteers to people in crisis, thinking of suicide or affected by suicide.
SOS also provides counselling support to clients experiencing difficulties and who are feeling suicidal.
Its staff members are trained counsellors and social workers.
In the recent review period from April 2010 to March 2011, relationship issues made up the most commonly presented problems (37.1 per cent), followed by psychological issues (34.7 per cent), and material issues including unemployment and financial problems (17.3 per cent).
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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