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National Care Hotline now ready for calls after 300 specialists volunteer to help man the hotline

Janice Tai on 10 Apr 2020

The Straits Times


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SINGAPORE - 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 on Friday (April 10).


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


"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 them 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.


The National Care Hotline is 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 in 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. 


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.


From 1 September 2020, National CARE Hotline will operate daily, from 8am to midnight.

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