It is important to recognise that children, especially those from marginalised communities, are most vulnerable to environmental stressors such as lockdowns. The Covid-19 pandemic has created an environment of stress, fear, grief, isolation and uncertainty. As a child’s resilience wears away during these troubling times, it is important for us, adults, to help them connect to help.
The Belongg Mental Health Collective has prepared a list of mental health service providers who are offering their services free of cost.
- Toll-free tele-counselling by NCPCR
SAMVEDNA (Sensitizing Action on Mental Health Vulnerability through Emotional Development and Necessary Acceptance), Toll Free Tele counseling -18001212830 will be able to address the stress, anxiety, fear and other issues among children.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights with India Co-Win Action Network (I-CAN) has created a network of qualified and trained experts/counsellors/psychologists for providing psycho-social support to the children through tele-counselling.
Toll Free Tele counseling number – 18001212830
Timings: from Monday to Saturday 10 AM – 1 PM and 3 PM to 8 PM IST.
2. Raahat by Children First
Raahat is a free service for those impacted directly by Covid-19 and are experiencing mental health difficulties, death or loss in the immediate family.
An individual can avail 45-60 minutes audio sessions with a Raahat support worker who have been especially trained and supervised. Alongside, they will receive helpful resources, tips and strategies which they could use themselves.
Sessions are available in the languages: English, Hindi, Punjabi, Oriya, Bengali, Malayalam & Assamese and are open to: Children aged 15-17, young people aged 18-25 and parents of children uptil the age of 14/15 years.
Contact number: 9650044774 / 9650844774
3. Jan Sahas
Jan Sahas has developed an in-house counselling unit with an aim to foster resilience among our communities and ensure their access to mental health care at grass-roots level.
Under this initiative, they are providing direct counselling services to children as well as youth from the marginalised communities. The initiative has led to the emergence of 428 ‘Barefoot counsellors’ (mental health caregivers) trained at providing counselling support at community level.
Contact number: 011-43628209, 011-43628124
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. iCALL Psychosocial Helpline
iCALL is a telephone and email based counselling service run by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai which offers psychosocial support, information and referral to people in emotional, psychological distress across age groups, gender and sexual identities, geographies and issues through a team of trained and qualified counsellors.
Since its inception in 2012, the helpline has addressed 45,000 calls and nearly 5000 emails from individuals in 25 out of 29 Indian states and 20 countries across the globe.
iCALL can be accessed free of cost over the telephone by calling 9152987821 (standard calling rates apply) and over email at email@example.com from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 08 pm.
5. COOJ Mental Health Foundation Distress Helpline
The COOJ Distress Helpline is a befriending helpline that follows the guideline of the befrienders Charter. The principles of the helpline provide the framework within which they offer emotional support to those in emotional distress or feeling suicidal.
Languages spoken on the helpline are English, Konkani & Hindi.
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org. It offers confidentiality to those who write in . Medium of written language used is only English. There is an automated response that informs the mailer that their email will be replied within 72 hours.
Helpline: 0832-2252525 (that operates from Monday to Friday 1pm to 7pm.)
6. Vandrevala Foundation Helpline
Vandrevala Foundation runs a 24-7 Mental Health helpline to aid patients, their relatives and others struggling with mental health problems. The Helpline currently operates Pan India. Advice and assistance is available in English, Hindi and all major Indian regional languages.
Contact number: +91 9999 666 555
WhatsApp number: +1 256 666 2142
Email ID: email@example.com
Counselling is also available through chat, email and WhatsApp directly from the website.
7. AASRA Helpline
Their free,confidential helpline is answered by professionally trained volunteers. So, whatever your concerns are, you can be rest assured that you will receive non-judgmental and non-critical listening. Please note, the caller’s identity is never revealed and none of their calls are recorded or shared. They are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Languages : English, Hindi.
Contact number: 91-9820466726
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephonic as well as face-to-face counselling services are provided at the counselling centre at Snehi, which has been functional since the inception of the organization.
People are free to call for telephonic counselling or come to the centre for individual counselling sessions.
Helpline number: +91-9582208181 (10am -10pm every day)
Parivarthan Counselling Helpline (PCH), is a free phone counselling service operated by a team of 15 trained, certified and multilingual counsellors. The phone counselling helpline is for all age groups.
The Helpline working hours are 1 pm to 10 pm, Monday through Friday.
Helpline Number: 7676602602
10. Mpower 1on1
In order to deal with the mental health concerns arising out of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the BMC and Mpower 1 on 1, along with the Government of Maharashtra have started a toll-free, 24*7 helpline, that helps individuals sail through the lockdown by addressing their concerns.
Toll Free Number: 1800 120 820050. (Available to take calls 24 x 7)
Belongg Mental Health Collective had also circulated a message on social media with an aim to connect Mental Health Professionals, who are comfortable providing one free session, to children and adolescents in distress.Do check out these professionals here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LG9rtsna_l6RimLRSQYOAK1een-s59HqWz_koQ1_JKk/edit?usp=sharing
If you wish to be a part of this list, please mail us at email@example.com.