In trouble-torn Kashmir, where over three decades of endless violence has been pushing many to mental ailments, including a rise in suicidal tendencies, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) has come up with ‘Sukoon,’ a 24×7 counseling helpline for people in distress.
Sukoon’ (Toll-free Number 1880-180-7159) offers guidance to persons or their well-wishers experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, panic attack, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, mental health emergency pandemic-induced psychologists stress. It guides callers to avail clinical psychologists, therapists, counselors, psychiatrists and provides 24X7 one-to-one support, free and confidential services to those experiencing mental health issues.
Haseeb Rehman, commandant first battalion SDRF, says the initiative was started in coordination and consultation with doctors and mental health experts. “When I joined the SDRF in April this year, a majority of calls we received were of suicide. Peoplewould call us very often to ask us to retrieve bodies,” he told DH.
After a brief thought, Rehman discussed the idea of starting a helpline with V K Singh (IPS), DGP-cum-Commandant General of Jammu and Kashmir Home Guard, Civil Defence, and SDRF. Singh liked the idea, and it was taken further with J&K Chief Secretary, who suggested to them to refer people in distress to “Mission Youth J&K,” who approached ‘Sukoon’ for assistance. The mission focuses on all individuals between the ages of 15 to 25 years and supports and encourages individuals to fulfill their potential and aspirations while addressing their needs and concerns.
We have coordinated with professionals and doctors for this initiative, and many experts are a part of the advisory board. Already we have referred ten youths to “Mission Youth J&K”who approach ‘Sukoon’ for assistance.