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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Spike in distress emails during pandemic: Pune-based organisation

While the distress helpline programme received, on an average, 15 new distress mails per month prior to the pandemic, it has been getting as many as 30 such emails in the last few months.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Updated: September 9, 2020 11:01:16 am
Suicide Prevention Day, Covid pandemic, distress emails, Pune news, Indian express newsSeptember 10 is observed as World Suicide Prevention Day and this year's theme is 'Working Together To Prevent Suicide'. According to the World Health Organisation, 800,000 people die by suicide every year. (Representational)

There has been a spike in the number of distress emails received by Connecting Trust, a volunteer- based listening service in Pune, which aims to prevent suicides through its distress helpline programme. While the programme received, on an average, 15 new distress mails per month prior to the pandemic, it has been getting as many as 30 such emails in the last few months.

September 10 is observed as World Suicide Prevention Day and this year’s theme is ‘Working Together To Prevent Suicide’. According to the World Health Organisation, 800,000 people die by suicide every year. Every 40 seconds, a person dies by suicide.

To combat the lock down, Connecting Trust’s distress helpline and email service are operational and receive an average of 122 calls per month. It’s Peer Educators Program, which supports students in schools, has gone online and its Awareness Programme conducts online mental health awareness sessions with corporate companies.

It is critical that now, more than ever, people stay connected, said counsellors with the Trust.

“As many as seven out of 10 patients since the lockdown have said they felt suicidal during the lockdown. There is a clear and sharp rise compared to the pre-lockdown time, when we saw such thoughts in five out of every 10 patients… The reasons for this rise are many – working professionals mostly complaining of irregular work hours, and stress of work combined with lack of personal space as spouses are working from home. Most of them are living in the city away from their parents and families, and lack of physical meetings with friends and family has increased the stress and anxiety levels,” said Dr Sayantani Mukherjee, senior psychiatrist at Columbia Asia Hospital.

Connecting Trust’s distress helpline: 9922004305, 9922001122

Email service: distressmailsconnecting@gmail.com

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