Coronavirus: National Care Hotline now open, manned by 300 volunteers

The new National Care Hotline on 6202-6868 will offer emotional support to anyone during this time when lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.
The new National Care Hotline on 6202-6868 will offer emotional support to anyone during this time when lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.PHOTO: ST FILE

The National Care Hotline is now ready to offer support to those who need it, after specialists trained in psychological first aid responded to the call for volunteers to man it, said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee in a Facebook post yesterday.

Over 300 psychologists, counsellors, social workers, psychiatrists and public officers from about 50 agencies have stepped up to man the 24-hour helpline. Of the 300 volunteers, about 230 come from the public sector.

"If you need someone to talk to about the issues that weigh you down - worried about Covid-19, its impact on your personal and family lives, on your jobs and livelihoods, and your future - you do not need to struggle alone," said Mr Lee.

The hotline will offer emotional support to anyone who needs it - be it stress over finances, or marital and family tensions - and trained officers will link the person up with social service agencies and specialised services if needed.

The psychological well-being and resilience of Singaporeans at this time of crisis is something the Government is watching over carefully, especially among the more vulnerable in the community, said Mr Lee previously.

People can call the National Care Hotline on 6202-6868. It operates alongside other specialised service helplines, such as those for mental well-being or violence and abuse.

Social workers and advocacy groups are concerned about a potential rise in domestic abuse as families are forced to stay home during this circuit breaker month.

In Parliament earlier this week, Mr Lee noted a trend in "higher rates of domestic violence, domestic quarrels and friction in the family" since the outbreak in other countries that had imposed movement restrictions. 

Registered mental health professionals who wish to volunteer their services for the National Care Hotline can send an e-mail to nationalcarehotline@msf.gov.sg

  • Other help sources

    MENTAL WELL-BEING

    • Fei Yue's Online Counselling Service: eC2.sg

    • Institute of Mental Health's Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222

    • Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444

    • Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6385-3714

    MARITAL AND PARENTING ISSUES

    • Community Psychology Hub's Online Counselling platform: CPHOnlineCounselling.sg

    VIOLENCE OR ABUSE

    • Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre: 6445-0400

    • Heart @ Fei Yue Child Protection Specialist Centre: 6819-9170

    • Pave Integrated Services for Individual and Family Protection: 6555-0390

    • Project StART: 6476-1482

    • TRANS SAFE Centre: 6449-9088

 
 
 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2020, with the headline 'National Care Hotline now open, manned by 300 volunteers '. Print Edition | Subscribe