Monday, April 22, 2024
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Google and Umang Introduce First Suicide Helpline in Pakistan

Google has collaborated with an NGO named Umang to launch a suicide helpline in Pakistan for the first time. Recognized by WHO, Umang Pakistan aims to support citizens with mental health issues and those contemplating suicide. For any Pakistani who searches for suicide-related queries like “suicide support” and “how can I commit suicide”, Google search will show them the contact number at the top of the results page.

Pakistan Suicide Helpline is Completely Free

The partnership between Umang and Google will provide free service to address rising suicide cases and mental-health related issues. According to WHO, Pakistan reports 130,000 to 270,000 cases of attempted suicide every year. The suicide helpline provides a platform where vulnerable civilians can find someone to talk to before giving up on life.

The hotline is purely volunteer-based, which means it will cost nothing to seek help. Dedicated clinical psychologists who care about improving mental health in Pakistan will devote their time to those in need of counselling.

How to Contact?

The suicide helpline is 0311-7786264, and it will operate 24/7 except during the Eid holidays. Besides English and Urdu, it will also be available in all regional languages, including Sindhi, Pashto, Punjabi, Balochi, and Saraiki.

Biggest Unaddressed Problem in Pakistan

CEO and Founder of Umang, Kinza Naeem, described mental health as the “biggest unaddressed problem” in Pakistan. More than 40% of the population in Pakistan suffers from some degree of mental illness. These psychological problems are the foremost reason for someone to take his own life. Naeem thanked Google for the much-needed partnership to introduce a suicide helpline in Pakistan.

Google Regional Director of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Farhan Qureshi, told the media that Pakistanis are increasingly searching for queries about their mental health. According to Google Trends, the search for topics such as “anxiety”, “depression”, and “suicide” all spiked in Pakistan after 2020. Qureshi hopes that Umang Pakistan can help people with mental issues, especially those who want to commit suicide.

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