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Those who could not cope up with all-pervasive fear and the resultant anxiety, panic or depression are unfortunately taking it upon themselves – sometimes even putting an end to their lives. Here comes Rachakonda Police Service on phone to counsel and rescue the desparates in Hyderabad.

Since the lockdown, the issue of mental disturbances has been on the rise irrespective of age. With an aim to help denizens of Hyderabad going through mental disturbances and help themq overcome negative thoughts during the combat against the covid, the ‘Margadarshaks’ from the Rachakonda Security Council have been just a call away for the needy.

They have been providing psycho-social counselling since the lockdown 1.0. So far, they attended to a total of 25 calls from people with various needs and challenges. Eight calls were related to depression. However, after the tragic suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the Rachakonda helpline received a total of 155 calls from locals in the last two days.

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Speaking to #KhabarLive, Mahesh Bhagwat, the Commissioner of Police, Rachakonda, said, “The counselling was started by the Margadarshaks and the Rachakonda team since the first lockdown itself. We got volunteers of our Rachakonda Security Council and Margadarshaks of women forum. We got a dedicated helpline number and counsellors are available from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm. During the pandemic, many people including the migrant workers used to continuously be seized by negative thoughts because of unemployment and no income.”

The top cop adds further: “However, after Sushant Rajput’s suicide, there has been a sharp increase in the number of calls in just two days. We have been putting up several efforts to make people aware about the helpline. Our aim is to provide a support and a helping hand for those who are getting any kind of negative thoughts, as they are badly in need of a support.”

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The team consists of ten counsellors; Kavitha Natarajan, Margadarshak and a trained counselor, Dr Amina Hussain, a psycho-social counsellor, and her team of professional counsellors and Dr Anitha Are, a clinical psychologist. They are working together as a team to help those in need of counseling.

Kavitha Natarajan, who coordinates between the helpline centre and the commissionerate, said, “The helpline was closed once the lockdown was lifted. We again started it two days back. During the pandemic, there was an increase of domestic violence, job problem cases. We either provided them counselling or in severe cases asked them to refer to the She Teams. The maximum number of calls in the 2 days that we received was from the age group of 24 to 34.”

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Dr Amina Hussain said, “The sudden increase in the number of cases in the past two days would have been due to the sudden demise of the actor. Even after the lockdown is lifted, there has been an increase in number of cases. People tend to compare themselves with the celebrities who have everything but still took their lives. They think they also have problems and think why they should live and get similar thoughts. People need to understand that depression is not only sadness but also loneliness. Mental depression is also a pain which cannot be expressed.”

In case of emergency or police assistance, counsellors approach the officers concerned including the She Teams or WhatsApp control of Rachakonda. #KhabarLive #hydnews

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