The Suicide Hotline movement is a collective act of compassion that aims to prevent suicide attempts in the country.
Just recently, a netizen failed when attempting to contact Philippine Hopeline, the first ever hotline for mental health assistance and suicide prevention in the country.
In an interview with Rappler, Ligia Daroy, who suffered from depression, said she called the hotline around 8 pm on July 5th but instead of reaching a live respondent, she got an automated voice message saying, "Sorry, business hours are only from 6 am to 8 pm."
"I was depressed. I thought all of my friends are tired of listening to me so I called Hopeline. Then I got, ‘Sorry. Business hours are only from 6 am to 8 pm,’” she frustratingly uttered.
Daroy tweeted this sarcastic post to share her experience:
Suicide hotline answered "sorry. Business hours are now closed."— Ligia Daróy (@legendaroy) July 5, 2017
Good job philippines
"What if it was someone who was actually ready to jump off a building, tapos ganoon 'yung maririnig mo (then you will hear something like that)," she added.
While her tweet caught a lot of attention, another netizen also shared her disappointment responding to Daroy's concern. Ash Dauntless said when she called the hotline, she was only told to see a psychologist without giving any advice that as she said, would've somehow made her feel better.
I tried it too, pro ina advise na mkipagkita ako ng psychologist. Ni wala mn lng syang na advise na nkapagpagaan ng loob.— Ash Dauntless (@DauntlessAsh8) July 6, 2017
Hopeline is tasked to assist those who are in emotional crisis especially to prevent people from committing suicide.
During its test run in Cebu, the majority of calls made to Hopeline last year reported relationship problems, parental abuse or separation. One of the top three main sources of anxiety from the callers is gender identity problem.
According to Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean Ubial, youth represent the largest demographic of their callers. The youngest caller they had was seven, while the youngest incident of suicide they were informed of were three cousins aged ten.
On July 3rd of this year, a young mom went live on Facebook while she hanged herself in her family’s living room. Her name was Kian Shannon Sophie Cañares, 21 years old and a resident of Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City. Cañares took her life in front of her terrified two-year-old daughter.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director and Senior Supt. Joel Doria said that Cañares' family failed to report the incident immediately. This made the investigators see the need to step in and dig deeper into the case.
“We hope her parents will cooperate with us (even as) they early on appealed for privacy over the matter,” he told Cebu Daily News.
According to her father, Melencio, Cañares did not show any signs of problems she might have had before the incident. He also said that when she has a problem, she usually kept it to herself.
Kian is a first-year psychology student of the University of San Carlos, Cebu. She had her two-year-old daughter from a failed relationship.
"The last great stigma of the twentieth century is the stigma of mental illness.” – Tipper Gore
Many people believe that this is a wake-up call, not just for the Philippine Hopeline but for everyone. Cases like Daroy's and Cañares' are examples of the stigma that people with depression has to endure in the society. This is largely due to the negative nature of the illness that makes depressives feel unattractive and unreliable. They feel it's not okay to share their misery with others, not even their friends or their family because of the fear of being misunderstood, misjudged or rejected.
But what if those helpless people realize they have someone to talk to? That despite their situation, someone is willing to listen even if they don't know them?
The objective of this little cause is to help prevent people with depression from resorting to a regretful decision like suicide.
While there are more qualified individuals when it comes to this topic, we need a greater movement to help those who are scared or ashamed to seek professional assistance.
"Sometimes all we need is someone to listen."
If you think you can be part of this change, offer your own phone number to your Facebook friends or any other social networking sites as a helpline. Let us help our government in raising awareness and let those who need our love and compassion feel that they are not alone.
If people can use social media for bullying, why not use it for a good cause?
Would you lend your phone number and time to save lives?
Be part of the movement! Share this photo on your timeline and caption it with any contact numbers you can lend to help a friend. Much love! <3