Google Launches Suicide Hotline for Pakistan
A suicide hotline was launched by Google for Pakistan on Thursday, enabling users to get quick help when browsing suicide-related searches on the search result page. It was launched with Umang Pakistan to tackle the growing number of suicides and mental health issues.
Umang is a mental health helpline approved by the World Health Organization that provides support to Pakistanis who are considering or contemplating suicide.
An estimated 130,000 to 270,000 Pakistanis attempt suicide every year, according to the WHO. During the same time, mental health issues have become a topic of increasing interest in search engine searches. Among the most trending topics in the country in the 2020-21 period are anxiety, depression, and suicide.
Farhan Qureshi, Google Regional Director of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, shared: “As we can see from Google Trends, Pakistanis are searching for answers about their mental health. We understand time is of the essence when searching for help, especially for those who may be facing suicidal thoughts. We hope that this feature aids vulnerable users in finding help in times of need.”
Kinza Naeem, executive director of Umang Pakistan, said: “Mental health is one of the most critical challenges we face today, especially in a country like Pakistan, where more than 40 percent of the population suffers from mental health issues.”.
Google’s timely partnership is greatly appreciated by us. I am certain that together we will be able to reach out to the maximum number of people in dire need of mental health support and break the taboo around it nationwide,” she said.
Mobile and desktop users (Android/iOS) will be able to access the hotline update.