By Valerie Anne Pascual

The Department of Health (DOH) officially opened the “Hopeline Project,” a phone-based counseling service available 24/7 for those people who are struggling from devastating experiences and/or depression.The launching of the said project was conducted at the DOH Media Relations Unit in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila where DOH is located.

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WHO Country Representative Dr. Gundo Weiler (left) and DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial (right) officially announces the opening of “Hopeline Project”

Photo from Manila Bulletin

According to DOH Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, the launching of the project was in partnership with Globe Communications and Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF). The Hopeline project began in Cebu, and with the partnership of NGF and Globe, it will be more beneficial to those people who are having thoughts of suiciding from their life’s problems.

With this project, they are expecting that the suicidal rates will be lower than the previous years. Trained psychiatrists and psychologist are the ones who will be counseling the struggling person via phone call. Those who are answering the phone calls will explain to the caller that suicide is never an option and instead, there are other ways to get over their problems.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimate of 800,000 people commit suicide every year, and that’s one person every 40 seconds. Aside from that, gender issues are one of the top problems, as well as bullying, cyberbullying, broken relationships, emotional and family issues, identity, and so on.

As of 2015, suicide is the 9th leading cause of deaths for Filipinos in citizens around 20-24 years old.

This year, the World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) has the theme “3 Cs,” namely – Connect, Communicate, and Care.

The numbers that are now used in the Hopeline project are the following: (02) 805-HOPE (4673); 0917 558 HOPE (4673) and 2919. These numbers are toll-fee for GLOBE and TM mobile subscribers.

Dialers can also connect through the national assistance number, 8888 which leads the calls to Hopeline.

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