National Helpline available round the clock



by Fernelle Neptune, Ministry of Health

THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH ENCOURAGES USING THE NATIONAL HELPLINE #203 FOR SUPPORT NECESSARY TO OVERCOME CHALLENGING MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL ISSUES.

Saint Lucians are being urged to utilize the national helpline, #203, that provides support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Counsellor of the Saint Lucia National Mental Wellness Centre, Shernelle Elibox, spoke on the process for accessing the services available through the helpline.

“You simply dial #203 and you press the “call” button. You can use a landline or a mobile phone and it is free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you call, you will be connected to a call responder and from there, the call responder will connect you to the necessary services,” she said.

The services range from psychological services, psychiatric services or myriad other services offered on the island. Information is fully confidential.



Ms. Elibox also appealed to individuals or family members who may have someone experiencing an emotional crisis to use the national helpline to speak to a professional.

“Often times, persons think that the person who is experiencing the thoughts should be the one to call. However, if you have noticed any signs or symptoms of someone experiencing mental health issues, you can call on their behalf and will not disclose that you were one who called,” she explained.

Eliminating suicide is communal effort. Recognize the signs and symptoms. Those range from someone making online posts about death, talking about wanting to kill themselves, experiencing hopelessness, and a loss of purpose. These all count as warning signs.

The national helpline #203 is a free and confidential service available round the clock.



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