Free psychological helpline now available in Kannada

Bengaluru: Non-profit organization Ripples of Change Foundation (ROCF) has extended its toll-free psychological helpline to Kannada.

The ‘Voice That Cares’ helpline, in association with Heartfulness Institute (HFI), already provides assistance in English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.

The helpline receives around 250 calls from people every day. Common topics discussed include personal and family relationships, disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression, or exam and work stress.

The foundation launched the helpline in 2021 with only Hindi, English and Telugu. Calls in these languages ​​are received from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Gujarati was added in August and Tamil in December last year. Calls in these languages ​​and Kannada are accepted on weekdays between 4:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

Venkatesh Iyer, one of the psychologists offering free counseling through the helpline, said, “We have 180 volunteers on the panel who handle calls and offer breathing techniques and other coping strategies to callers. They undergo three weeks of training on how to handle callers and provide advice by telephone.”

Depending on the severity of the problem discussed, the conversation can be escalated to a psychologist.

“We have 25 psychologists on the panel who can address common issues. We also provide group counseling through support groups where 8 participants attend eight online sessions together and share their thoughts and coping strategies to build a support system,” Iyer added .

To contact a volunteer or psychologist via the helpline, call 8448-8448-45.

Published June 15, 2024, 10:27 PM IST