In the last few days , stories and visuals of helplessness, survival and humanity have taken over our WhatsApp groups, social media timelines and collective consciousness, owing to the disastrous Kerala Flood.
Relief efforts are being organised all over the country to help with material needs. But the natural calamity has also taken a mental and emotional toll on survivors who have been through hours of trauma or have lost loved ones, homes and possessions, and face an uncertain immediate future. It has also been a gruelling experience for kith and kin in Kerala and outside, including in Pondicherry- which has a significant Malayali population and an enclave (Mahe) embedded in the state of Kerala- where people have spent anxious hours worrying about family and friends.
To help people cope with the impact of the disaster on mental health, JIPMER has launched a crisis helpline to offer assistance to “anyone affected directly or indirectly by the floods in Kerala and needs a listening ear”.
The helpline number 78670 86311 was verified by PondyLive. The 24 x 7 crisis helpline became operational on Monday morning and primarily offers counselling for those with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts in the wake of the Kerala flood. While support services are offered primarily in Malayalam, helpline personnel also speak English and Tamil.
JIPMER has also sent an initial batch of dedicated team of 37 members to Kerala with essential supplies and medicines.
Several efforts to organise relief material is being carried out in various neighbourhoods and institutions in Pondicherry.