Launch of a Regional Hotline for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in South Sudan on the Occasion of the World Mental Health Day
In line with this year’s official theme of the World Mental Health Day – “Greater Investment – Greater Access”, IOM South Sudan in cooperation with partner agencies of the MHPSS Technical Working Group and the Ministry of Health (MoH) at the state level launches a Regional Hotline for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in the Unity State, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile.
Multiple stressors brought by COVID-19, such as loss of loved ones and inability to say a proper good-bye, persistent uncertainty over the future, threats to livelihoods, challenges relating to remote modality of studies and work, burden of required self-isolation or quarantine and increased sense of alarm due to fear of contracting the infection, are augmented by the overall vulnerability caused by effects of long-term conflict and displacement in South Sudan. Correspondingly, communities’ needs for MHPSS services and the burning requirement of increase in access to such services is felt nowadays in the country as never before.
With this in mind, IOM South Sudan in cooperation with MoH and MHPSS stakeholders launches a Regional Hotline for MHPSS in South Sudan at three field locations – Malakal, Wau and Bentiu, aimed at bringing closer MHPSS services to those most in need of it. Anyone who feels overwhelmed and unable to cope with multiple stressors brought by the COVID-19 pandemic would be able to dial following toll-free numbers – 775 for Western Bahr el Ghazal, 776 for the Unity State and 778 for Upper Nile respectively, and to receive remote MHPSS services, such as Psychological First Aid (PFA), basic counselling and referral to available services according to the need of a caller.
IOM South Sudan is committed to build capacity of relevant national government counterparts and thus, establishes Regional Hotline for MHPSS in South Sudan on the premises of the State Ministry of Health of Wau town and the State Ministry of Health and Environment of Bentiu town, which lays the solid foundation for the sustainability of the remote MHPSS service provision countrywide in the long run.