With the ongoing pandemic in the world, one of the most underrated issues is the loss of mental health stability- especially in a country like India where anything related to mental wellbeing is still taboo. Irrespective of who you are, the pandemic has wrecked lives, directly or indirectly; the media sensationalism only makes it worse but the biggest threat to the mental balance is the “toxic positivity”.
Toxic positivity is the belief that no matter how dire or difficult a situation is, people should maintain a positive mindset. It’s a “good vibes only” approach to life. And honestly, it is bullsh*t because unless we acknowledge that there’s something wrong we can’t even begin to treat it.
So, seek out help and talk to a professional who can provide ways to manage your stress and give you a safe space to voice your concerns. With inputs from The23Watts, here’s a list of 7 free mental wellness helplines to tackle Covid-19 pandemic-related anxiety & stress.
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Below is a list of organizations available pan-India that are offering telephonic as well as online counseling, free of cost to you or someone who would want to seek mental wellness in this difficult time.
YES! You can remain anonymous on these calls, too. So, seriously there’s no excuse now to not prioritize your mental health today.
PeakMind, an organization aimed at reducing the stigma against mental health and emotional well-being, has announced a free emotional-support helpline to fight the COVID-19 fear, stress, and anxiety. The helpline offers inclusive access to professional emotional coaches to help people deal with the emotional and mental toll that COVID-19 has taken on their minds. Anyone from across the country can get their problems addressed through a Call or WhatsApp on +91–8047092334, free of charge. PeakMind has come up with this accessible helpline to instill a sense of togetherness and help in every possible way for callers to ensure their mental well-being.
An institution for mental health and neuroscience education, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, is offering free psychosocial support and mental health services to people experiencing stress, anxiety, fear, or any kind of emotional discomfort during the pandemic. A team of professional psychologists and psychiatrists is available to help Indian residents 24 hours a day, through a toll-free number- 080-46110007
3. Fortis Stress Helpline
Launched in 2016 for students and parents dealing with exam stress, the Fortis Stress Helpline offers mental health support in over 15 languages. The 24-hour service is taking emergency calls.
Operated by 15 trained, certified and multilingual counselors, the Parivarthan Counselling Helpline is open from Monday to Friday, 1 PM to 10 PM. It caters to all age groups and provides immediate support and crisis intervention during an emergency.
The organization offers multilingual phone counseling round the clock. The sessions are free of cost and conducted by experienced clinical psychologists and psychiatrists. Their helpline also has arrangements with public services such as the police, ambulance, and hospitals for emergency situations.
The Mumbai-based organization, which works to address the issue of child sexual abuse in India, has launched a free helpline service for people in need of mental health support. Their trained professionals also offer chat-based counseling via direct messaging on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The facility is available from Monday to Friday.
9 AM to 5 PM, Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM
7. SAHAI Helpline
Initially started as a suicide prevention hotline, Bengaluru-based SAHAI now offers help to children, young adults, and adults going through emotional upheaval. It has a committed team of volunteers including teachers, professionals, and students who receive training from doctors and experts at NIMHANS and the Medico Pastoral Association along with Rotary Bangalore East. The phone counseling can be availed from Monday to Thursday.
10 AM to 8 PM
Call: 080-25497777, +91 – 9886444075
If you know of any other resources, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
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