Kaan Pete Roi, the first emotional support and suicide prevention helpline in Bangladesh, has announced that it will extend its operating hours and keep the helpline open with support from SAJIDA Foundation.
The helpline is now open every day from 3:00pm to 3:00am. The helpline numbers are 01779554391-2, 01688709965-6, 01985275286, 01852035634, and 01517969150 and WhatsApp functionality is available.
"Being open late at night, and the availability of WhatsApp, is extremely important while people are stuck in their homes due to the Covid-19 outbreak," said Dr Yeshim Iqbal, founder and director of Kaan Pete Roi.
"SAJIDA Foundation's support in this time has made it possible for us to meet public mental health needs," Dr Iqbal added.
The announcement came on April 20, according to a press release issued recently.
Kaan Pete Roi, staffed by volunteers trained for confidential, compassionate, and open-minded listening, receives people's calls for immediate, emergency emotional support free of charge -- with the mission of alleviating feelings of despair, isolation, distress, and suicidal feelings.
Such helplines exist in over 42 nations in the world and play an important role in suicide prevention and the promotion of mental health.
Over the last seven years, the organisation has helped more than 21,000 people over the phone and has plans for more mental health awareness programmes in the future.
SAJIDA Foundation was launched informally in 1987 as a small garage school for disadvantaged children and later formally in 1993 as a non-profit organisation dedicated to bringing health, happiness and dignity to all.
"We at SAJIDA Foundation are glad to be able to help Kaan Pete Roi help others. It's important to make mental health services as accessible as possible during a crisis, so that those who are vulnerable are able to seek help easily," said Zahida Fizza Kabir, chief executive officer of SAJIDA Foundation.