As mental health issues rise due to isolation, fear, and worries that accompany the current pandemic, it becomes necessary to make it easier for the public to access mental health support services whenever and wherever they need them.
Thus, HOPELINE, the 24/7 suicide prevention and crisis support desk of New Good Feelings (NGF) Mindstrong, partnered with telehealth service integrator HealthNow to give the public more ways to reach the hotline. HOPELINE can be found under HealthNow app’s Urgent Help button in the welcome page. Globe and TM subscribers will be able to call the hotline toll-free.
HealthNow is a joint undertaking of 917Ventures, a corporate incubator wholly-owned by Globe, and AC Health, the healthcare arm of Ayala Corporation. It is a mobile application that helps patients to conveniently consult with a doctor, buy medicine for delivery, and schedule clinic appointments without leaving their homes. The app may be downloaded from Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS.
Beia Latay, CEO of HealthNow, said: “Our partnership with HOPELINE is an important step to allow more people access to mental and emotional support services, even if this means simply having someone to talk to when they need it the most. We knew that we wanted to collaborate with a reputable group like NGF, whose mission is aligned with ours as we strive to accompany Filipinos in their healthcare journey during these complicated times.”
In its pursuit to provide a platform for a 24/7 suicide prevention hotline, toll-free HOPELINE 2919 was created in 2012, with Globe providing the necessary technology for it. Since then, the hotline has received over 14,000 calls mostly related to issues of depression, suicidal thoughts, and relationship problems.
The psychological impact of COVID-19 on Filipinos these past months has been devastating. In a study conducted by Tee et al last August, it showed that “anxieties and stress caused by social distancing practices and the economic recession have led to a rise in mental health issues, worsening of health conditions and has even led more the more vulnerable to commit suicide.”
The integration of HOPELINE in HealthNow is part of the Globe Group’s efforts to support mental health awareness in the Philippines. Aside from conducting mental health webinars, Globe has also partnered with UP Diliman Psychosocial Services (UPD PsycServ) for free counseling or psychotherapy services. It also launched Hope Bank, an online support community particularly for frontliners and patients suffering from COVID-19 and other illnesses. Globe is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as UNSDG No. 3 which ensures healthy lives and promotes well-being for all at all ages.