Google launches suicide hotline for Pakistan

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Google has launched a suicide hotline one box for Pakistan which enables users to connect quickly with a suicide helpline at the top of the search results page, a statement from the tech giant said.

Anyone in Pakistan searching for suicide-related queries such as “suicide support” and “how can I commit suicide” will now be shown the “Umang Pakistan’s” helpline, the statement said.

Recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Umang is a mental health helpline that offers support to vulnerable Pakistanis ideating or planning suicide.

The tech giant said the partnership between Umang and Google aims to help tackle the rising issue of suicides in Pakistan.

According to WHO estimates, there are around 130,000 to 270,000 cases of attempted suicide in Pakistan each year.

Meanwhile, search interest in mental health issues has been on the rise, the tech company said, adding that Google Trends showed that topics such as “anxiety”, “depression” and “suicide” all peaked in the 2020-21 period in the country.

This Search update will be available on both desktop and mobile — Android/iOS.