Google Search Introduces Helpline Suggestions for Mental Health Queries in Pakistan

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Google Search Introduces Helpline Suggestions for Mental Health Queries in Pakistan

Onebox, a suicide hotline for Pakistan, was launched by Google today. This feature, which appears at the top of the Search results page, allows visitors to contact a suicide hotline right away. Anyone searching for “suicide support” or “how can I commit suicide” in Pakistan will now be led to the Umang Pakistan helpline.

Umang is a WHO-recognized mental health helpline that helps Pakistanis who are thinking about or planning suicide.

Umang’s and Google’s collaboration aims to reduce Pakistan’s rising suicide rate. Pakistan has between 130k and 270k attempted suicide cases each year, according to WHO estimates. Meanwhile, there has been a rise in the number of people searching for information about mental health issues. Topics including “anxiety,” “depression,” and “suicide” all surged in the country in the 2020-21 period, according to Google Trends.

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Google Regional Director for Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Farhan Qureshi, revealed the following:

Pakistanis are seeking remedies to their mental health problems, according to trends. We recognise that when seeking help, time is of the essence, especially for those who are contemplating suicide. We hope that this feature will make it easier for vulnerable consumers to find help when they need it.

Kinza Naeem, the company’s founder and CEO, also provided the following details:

Mental health is the most under-appreciated issue of our time, especially in a country like Pakistan, where more than 40% of the population suffers from some sort of mental disease. For this vital collaboration, we owe Google a significant debt of gratitude. I am convinced that by working together, we will be able to reach the greatest number of people in need of mental health assistance while also eradicating the stigma that surrounds it across the country.

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On both the desktop and mobile platforms, this Search update will be available (Android and iOS).

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