The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic worldwide has been increasingly associated with suicides. Instances of suicide in the context of the pandemic have been reported among individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 infection, those who have suffered severe financial setbacks, and those experiencing alcohol withdrawal syndromes. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significantly increased levels of stress at the community, family, and individual levels with a consequently increased vulnerability to suicide. Adding to the same are various policy measures formulated to address and limit the spread of COVID-19 in India. These measures leading to isolation and stigma due to illness, limited access to basic necessities, and financial stress, as well as rapid dissemination of information (including misinformation) via internet-based platforms, have led to increased levels of anxiety, fear, and psychological stress across the entire country. This distress may stem from the uncertainty of their own as well as their family's health, well being and these could increase the suicide risk. People with pre-existing psychological problems, psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety, and especially alcohol dependence) may be more vulnerable to suicide risk.
If you know anyone around you (or you for that matter) who is going through a stressful time and has suicidal tendencies, get help by calling these organizations who help others in distress. You can call these organizations anywhere from the country.
The Mumbai-based organization has a 24x7 dedicated free helpline number where professionally trained volunteers are there to answer the call. The volunteers can converse in Hindi and English.
Helpline Number: +91 98204 66726
2) Fortis Stress Helpline
The Fortis 24x7 Stress Helpline number is for students and/or parents who may have queries related to stress, mental well-being related to exams and academics. A team of mental health specialists, who can converse in English as well as regional Indian languages, from the hospital, will be there to help out. You can write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpline Number: +9183768 04102
The Bangalore-based counseling center has a dedicated helpline number where one can call in and get connected to professional & trained counselors who can converse in English, Kannada, and Tamil. The helpline number is open from 1 pm to 10 pm, Monday through Friday. Online counseling sessions are also available should one need it. You can email them at email@example.com.
Helpline Number: +91 76766 02602
4) Cooj Mental health foundation
The Goa-based mental health organization has both e-counseling as well as a suicide helpline number. They are available on call Monday through Friday between 1 pm and 7 pm. For e-counseling, one can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpline Number: 0832 2252525 (English only)
5) Sneha Foundation
Sneha is a suicide prevention organization based out of Chennai. One can reach out to them via email at email@example.com. Their suicide helpline number can be reached on all days between 10 am and 2 pm.
PS: Once the restrictions and lockdown get lifted in Chennai, the number can be reached out 24x7.
Helpline Number: 044-24640050
ICall is an email and telephone-based counseling service run by Tata Institute of Social Sciences and they offer free services with the help of a team of qualified and trained mental health professionals. They are available Monday to Saturday between 8 am and 10 pm.
Helpline Number: +91 22 2552111 and +91 91529 87821
7) Vandrela foundation
The Vandrevala Foundation is an NPO and they are around-the-clock trained counselors. Apart from their 24x7 helpline number, one can also email them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpline Number: +91 730 459 9836, +91 730 459 9837, and 1860 2662 345