A laudable new venture has been started by the Maharashtra public health department recently.
It is a helpline number – 18002332688 – toll free, that will connect adolescents to counselors if they have problems of any nature to discuss and get help and advise on. This is an initiative begun in view of the rising mental, physical and social issues faced by youngsters in which they find themselves isolated and get depressed. They are too shy or embarrassed to talk about it to their parents, siblings or friends and then tragically end up attempting suicide.
To avert such happenings and lend the troubled souls a helping hand the Director of Health Services (DHS) have trained and based one female and one male counselor who will be available on the above number from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday.
This helpline is under the aegis of National Adolescent Health program. It was in experimental mode for nine months and was inaugurated by Amruta Fadnavis, wife of CM Fadnavis on Monday.
The aim is to provide a platform for kids in the age group of 10 to 19 years. They can discuss anything from sexual harassment issues to coping with academic pressure etc. informed Dr, Rajiv Jotkar, Joint Director of DHS.
The helpline also aims to deal with the high occurrence of alcohol abuse, smoking and taking of drugs among this age group. The counselors will keep a follow up with the callers and if necessary refer them for medical help.