By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) said that its partnership with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) for the crisis support hotline project called ‘Hopeline’ will only be until October of this year.
“It is unfortunate however that the DOH cannot continue funding Hopeline beyond October 2019. The DOH is required to adhere to the stringent government rules for procurement,” the health department said in a statement.
To note, the said 24/7 suicide prevention hotline was launched in 2016.
The health department said that it will establish its own crisis support hotline that will be managed by the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH).
“After several consultations, it became clear that it is necessary for DOH to set up its own crisis hotline through the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) upon the signing of the Mental Health Act of 2019,” it said.
The DOH said that those with mental health concerns may reach the NCMH through its new crisis hotlines: 0917899-USAP (8727) or 989-USAP.
The health department also expressed its gratitude to the NGF for being a “reliable partner in providing hope and support for Filipinos with mental health issues.”
“Rest assured that the DOH will continue to support the advocacy of NGF to uphold the rights of all Filipinos living with mental health conditions,” the DOH said.
Meanwhile, the Hopeline will still continue its operations even after the DOH pulled out its support.
“All of our lines are still available 24/7. You can reach us through 804-4673, 09175584673 and 2919 (toll-free for Globe and TM subscribers),” said the Hopeline in its Twitter account.