Google Search instantly directs people to suicide prevention hotline

Google Search suicide prevention hotline
Keying in suicide-related keywords on Google Search results in the National Center for Mental Health hotline.

Google Search now instantly directs people to the suicide prevention hotline in the Philippines.

To help the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) in its service to provide free, reliable, and confidential psychological support, Google now instantly shows the NCMH Crisis Hotline on Search.

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By simply typing in suicide-related keywords on Search such as “suicide prevention”, the NCMH Crisis Hotline immediately shows up without opening the website. This is to also prompt people online to seek professional help during their vulnerable state.

The Philippines’ first Crisis Hotline (0966-351-4518) is a 24-hour service meant to respond to mental health-related queries. It connects the public to mental health professionals to provide the necessary counseling and proper triaging to those who are in crisis. The service was launched in 2019 by the Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with NCMH.

The Search query result also features the link to the NCMH official site which contains more information and contact details including a toll-free Luzon-wide landline (1553), an alternative Globe/TM number (0917-899-8727), and Smart/Sun/TNT (0908-639-2672).

According to the NCMH data, there was a significant increase in monthly hotline calls in 2020 regarding depression, with numbers rising from 80 calls pre-lockdown to nearly 400, including a monthly average of more than 50 suicide-related concerns.

“As the pandemic continues to affect people’s mental well-being, we want to help by partnering with the Department of Health’s National Center for Mental Health to connect Filipinos to immediately accessible and reliable information online through Google Search,” said Bernadette Nacario, Country Director – Philippines, Google. “Let’s make it a habit to check in on ourselves and others and consult a professional if needed. There is always help and hope.”

“Many Filipinos are grappling with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. We want them to know that they are not alone and that we are ready to help,” said Frances Prescilla Cuevas, Head of the Department of Health’s National Mental Health Program. “It’s important to reach more people through platforms like Google Search to provide them with the information and help they need.”

If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline through the following hotlines: toll-free Luzon-wide landline (1553), Globe/TM (0966-351-4518 and 0917-899-8727), or Smart/Sun/TNT (0908-639-2672).

Mental Health now part of medical support for Filipino workers while Overseas Filipino Workers are getting support from the Mental Wellness Health app.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.