A suicide hotline for Pakistan has been launched by Google and ‘Umang Pakistan’ to address the rising number of suicides and mental health concerns in the country. It will appear at the top of the search results page for any search linked to suicide.
Umang is a suicide prevention helpline recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) that provides assistance to suicidal Pakistanis.
Approximately 130,000 to 270,000 persons attempt suicide in Pakistan each year, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, the number of people searching for information about mental health issues has increased. According to Google Trends, anxiety, depression, and suicide have peaked in the country in the 2020 to 2021.
“As we see from Trends [Google], Pakistanis are looking for answers about their mental health. We understand time is of the essence when searching for help, especially for those who may be facing suicidal thoughts. We hope that this feature aids vulnerable users in finding help in times of need” said Farhan Qureshi, Google's Regional Director for Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
Kinza Naeem Umang Pakistan Founder and chief executive officer stated: “Mental health is the biggest unaddressed problem of our era, especially at a place like Pakistan where more than 40 per cent of the population is suffering from some degree of mental health issues. We are utterly grateful to Google for this timely partnership. I am certain that together we will be able to reach out to the maximum number of people in dire need of mental health support and break the taboo around it nation-wide.”
Updates for the hotline will be available on both desktop and mobile platforms (Android/iOS).
Helpline number: 03117786264
Hours: Available 24 hours. Off on Eid Holidays.
Languages: Urdu, English and All regional languages (Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi).
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