MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) has launched a national suicide prevention hotline to help Filipinos who are suffering from depression, and are thinking of taking their own lives.
Dubbed the “HOPELINE Project,” the hotline is a phone-based counseling service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is run by the DOH, in partnership with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation and the National Center for Mental Health, and sponsored by Globe Telecom.
HOPELINE can be called through the following numbers:
Landline – (02) 804-HOPE (4673)
Mobile – 0917-558-HOPE (4673), and 2919 (toll-free for all Globe and TM subscribers)
“We are very optimistic that we can fully implement HOPELINE and address mental health issues in a very innovative way,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said in a statement.
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), many suicides happen impulsively, and many factors can contribute to it such as social, psychological, cultural, and other factors. However, social stigma attached to mental disorders and suicide, often prevent people from seeking help.
By creating the hotline and conducting information campaigns about mental health, the DOH said they hope to address the taboo and encourage people to seek help.
Philippines ranks 150 out of 170 countries included in a report by the WHO on suicide prevention, and reports in media show that deaths can happen both in private and public areas, by a wide range of ages.
Based on 2012 data, there is an estimated 2,558 self-inflicted deaths in the Philippines every year, a suicide rate of 2.9 per 100,000.
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