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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 342-345

A 1-Year Study on the Usage of Psychiatry Helpline Number – 9108919025

Department of Psychiatry, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Janisar Javed
Junior Resident, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_40_21

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Background: To facilitate contact with mental health professionals (MHP), mental health centers are implementing early intervention programs with innovative strategies such as 24 h helpline services. The aim of the present study is to describe the usage of the 24 h psychiatry helpline number – 9108919025. Materials and Methods: This is a 1-year retrospective study which was conducted after the Institutional Ethical Committee clearance from May 14, 2019, to May 13, 2020, about the usage and utility of a free psychiatry helpline which is run by the department of psychiatry of a tertiary care teaching hospital. The helpline is available 24 h a day and 7 days a week, with trained MHP receiving the calls. The helpline caters to any emergencies related to emotional, psychological issues, and psychiatric illness. Results: The majority of the callers were males (57.2%) compared to female callers (42.8%). The common reason for approaching the helpline was psychosocial issues (46.3%) followed by inquiries related to psychiatric services (37.4%) and drug prescriptions (14.2%). Stress (52.1%) was the most common psychosocial issue faced by the callers followed by depression (11.7%) and interpersonal relationship conflicts (9.5%). Students with stress issues (41%) were the most common age group which approached the helpline followed by adults with work-related stress issues (26%). Conclusion: In Indian scenarios, where mental health services are spread unequally, helplines are a faster efficient, cost-effective, easy, stigma free system for helping people with mental illness, educating the public, and for information dissemination about psychiatric disorders.

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