NGO launches suicide prevention helpline for LGBT community: Report
A toll-free helpline for suicide prevention counselling, aimed particularly at the LGBT community, has been launched in New Delhi, according to a report by The Indian Express The helpline — 1800111015 — has been created by NGO SPACE, and it receives five to six calls on an average every day, according to the report.
“In the last month, six trans people who were a part of our NGO’s community committed suicide. That was really a final push for us to work dedicatedly towards mental health issues and suicide prevention among the queer community,” Anjan Nag, the director of the NGO, told the newspaper.
“Working with queer issues, we’ve already dealt with issues of so much stigma. In the case of mental health and suicide in the community, the stigma is doubled,” Nag added.
The report states that the helpline operates from 10 am to 6 pm every day and is manned by Maira Khan, a trained counsellor and a part of the transgender community.
“Most callers are in the 18-26 age category, and the predominant issues are about relationships — gay men in marriages they didn’t want to be in, trans women facing abuse from their boyfriends, and so on,” Khan said, adding that she speaks to them for around 15-20 minutes per session.
“Many of them have called for follow-up sessions, which is important,” Khan added.
SPACE is also planning to launch a multi-pronged programme for suicide prevention for LGBT youth on September 10, the World Suicide Prevention Day. The organisation plans on conducting therapy sessions and raise awareness about the helpline.
“We have a psychologist who is providing in-person counselling at our clinic in Kashmere Gate since August 1. We are seeing 15-20 visitors every week. We are also starting monthly therapy sessions, which will mostly be through art and music,” Nag told the newspaper.
Courtesy : Moneycontrol.com