Posted on April 25, 2020

The recently launched, Mental Health Helpline Service has managed 3000 calls from the general public and frontline staff, Ministry of Public Health said.  

In collaboration with Ministry of Public Health a​nd Primary Health Care Corporation​, Mental Health Service in Hamad Medical Corporation have launched a new helpline to provide support for people experiencing mental health problems as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The helpline is staffed by a team of mental health professionals who​ can provide assessment and support to callers through four main categories: ​Children and parents, adults, older people and frontline healthcare workers.

The helpline aims to provide an easily-accessible support line for people in need of professional advice and care. To access the helpline, which is available from 7am to 10pm every day, members of the public can telephone the toll free number, 16000. To access services of the Mental Health Helpline Service call 16000, Press 2 for English, Press 3 for HMC Medical Services and Press 1 for Medical Consultation. Mental health staff manning the helpline speak a range of languages and every effort will be made to enable callers to communicate in their language of choice, where possible.

“Even in normal circumstances, many of us will suffer some form of stress or psychological distress. But the emergence of COVID-19 and its impact on our lives can be a major cause of stress and anxiety. It is important to remember that these difficult times will pass, and life will return to normal,” highlighting the symptoms of mental health conditions, the Ministry has said in the website dedicated for information and educational material related to COVID-19. “We all experience feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness, and most of the time these feelings pass quickly, but for some people, these feelings persist and negatively impact their quality of life. “Noticing early changes in the way we think, act or feel or recognizing those changes in people close to us is important to ensure we all get the help and support we need to be healthy and happy,” it added.  

The 16000 helpline is confidential and users can remain anonymous, avoiding the stigma often associated with mental health.

source: The Peninsula