Dealing with mental health issues, whether it’s depression or an anxiety disorder, is not easy. These issues can take a heavy toll on your life, as well as that of your loved ones, without proper guidance and help from mental health professionals.
According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 150 million Indians suffer from mental disorders, with 2.2 lakh lives being lost to suicide every year. This number increased manifold last year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. A study published in the International Journal of Mental Health Systems showed that the suicide rate was higher among men during the lockdown. Needless to say, suicide has long been a cause of concern in the country, with many people just realising the sensitivity of the subject and the urgent need to address it. If you or someone you know has been struggling with their mental health, and have suicidal tendencies, here are some helplines that you can reach out to for support.
Hours: 24 hours, seven days a week
Languages: 13 vernacular languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Assamese, Punjabi, and English
This is the official mental health helpline launched by the Indian government. Their aim is to encourage people to seek help for various issues pertaining to one’s mental health, provide early screening, distress and psychological support, and crisis management (such as in the case of suicides).
Number: 022 - 27546669
Aasra is an NGO which deals specifically with suicide prevention and counselling. They have skilled volunteers who can handle any and every type of emotional crisis. Apart from the helpline, the NGO also organises workshops in schools and other institutions to raise awareness about mental health issues.
3. Sneha India Foundation
Number: 044 -24640050
This Chennai-based helpline centre specialises in providing emotional support, no matter the intensity. Be it anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts, their volunteers are trained to provide full attention and counsel all the way to the resolution of the crisis situation.
4. Sanjivini Society For Mental Health
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Run completely by volunteers, Delhi-based Sanjvini Society For Mental Health provides its counselling services free-of-cost to those under mental duress. The volunteers are highly trained and skilled, and also schedule a follow-up after each session. The organisation also raise funds to increase awareness about the different mental health conditions that people tend to stigmatise or avoid talking about in the country.
5. Connecting Trust
Hours: 12pm to 8pm, seven days a week
Connecting Trust is a Pune-based NGO that provides help to those feeling low, upset, depressed or suicidal. They can be easily reached via mail and a dedicated volunteer is assigned to talk you through your crisis situation no matter what its root cause is.
6. Samaritans Mumbai
Numbers: +918422984528, +918422984529, +9184229 84530
Hours: 3pm to 9pm, all days
Samaritans Mumbai is the official branch of Samaritans UK, and is involved in providing mental health counselling. They provide three services, namely, Suicide Prevention Helpline, Face-to-Face consultation, and Professional Appointments to guide you through your mental health issues.
7. Arpita Foundation
Hours: 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Sunday
Languages: Hindi, English, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Konkani, Assamese, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and other regional languages.
Started in 2019 by a group of experienced volunteers, the Arpita Foundation works towards eliminating the stigma attached to mental health issues, change perceptions, and spread awareness about mental health. The volunteers are highly skilled and adept at dealing with those suffering from extreme emotional duress and suicidal thoughts.
Hours: 10am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday
This Hyderabad-based NGO is part of Befrienders Worldwide, a United Nations-recognised international organisation. They specialise in providing support for emotional, behavioural, and psychiatric problems. They have a suicide hotline, through which you can connect with their trained volunteers who can provide you with proper guidance.
9. COOJ Mental Health Foundation
Hours: 1pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday
Based in Goa, COOJ Mental Health Foundation helps in promoting good mental health practices that fall under four major needs: suicide prevention, elderly care, psycho-social rehabilitation, and community mental health. Run by volunteers trained in Mindfulness Based Active Listening, their helpline provides confidential and emotional support to those having suicidal thoughts.
Numbers: 033-40447437, +919088030303
Hours: 10am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday
This Kolkata-based NGO has a helpline to support those who have suicidal tendencies, or need any sort of emotional support. They also conduct various workshops and outreach programmes in the city to raise awareness about mental health.
Disclaimer: The numbers listed here are in no way related to, or endorsed by Her Circle or Reliance Foundation. They are purely informational.