Airtel-NIMH Mental Health Helpline expands to 24/7 service

19 February, 2023

Airtel Lanka in partnership with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has expanded its Whatsapp service into a 24/7 operation.

The expanded service is designed to ensure that anyone facing challenges with their mental health can reliably reach out for help free-of-charge, and be assured of a compassionate and helpful response, day or night.

Prior to this, the NIMH was reachable 24/7 only through the 1926 helpline, and the operating hours of SMS and Whatsapp lines had been restricted between 8 am – 4 pm. “At a time when record numbers of Sri Lankans are facing extreme uncertainty, and unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety, we believe that mobile technology can be better utilised to make sure that every Sri Lankan and especially youth have access to the support they need to more effectively manage their mental health. In this manner, we can ensure that no Sri Lankan is left behind,” Airtel Sri Lanka CEO and MD, Ashish Chandra said.

NIMH Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Pushpa Ranasinghe said, “Between the lockdowns, and economic hardships, we are seeing an increase in the number of Sri Lankans reaching out for help with a range of mental health issues through the 1926 service. Especially for our younger users, they are often much freer to talk to us through the Whatsapp service in the evenings. We are grateful to the Airtel team for helping us bring these essential services into a 24 hour format, and amplifying the reach of this life-saving service.”

– Sunday Observer Sri Lanka

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