Emotional distress was the most cited reason for which help was sought on the helpline of Tata Institute of Social Sciences during April 2015 to August 2016, according to a report released.
The report, commemorating World Mental Health Day, states that emotional distress is one of the most common ailments people suffer from, and that over 40,000 people have reached out to iCALL since its inception in 2012.
iCALL (Initiating Concern for All), a TISS Field Action Project, is a psycho-social helpline extending mental health support to callers from across socio-economic classes and over a range of issues through phone and email.
While 30 per cent of callers are from Mumbai, 70 per cent are from rest of India.
On an average, iCALL attends to 1500 calls a month, 35-50 calls per day and 180 mails a month.
As per the report, during April 2015 to August 2016, emotional distress (22.69 per cent) was the most cited reason for the calls, while other reasons being relationship issues (14.85 per cent), mental health (13.96 per cent), physical health (6.58 per cent), amongst others.
The number of genuine calls is increased 4 times from 2743 in 2012 to 8913 up to March 2016, while e-mails doubled from 501 in the second year (after inception) to 1787 in current year.
While the age group of callers is 11-40 years, the highest percentages of callers and senders of e-mails belonged to age group of 21-30 years.
The number of calls from 21-30 year olds has increased from 25.04 per cent during September 2012-September 2013 to 33.75 per cent in April 2015-August 2016, whereas percentage of e-mails fell down from 18.53 per cent in September 2013-March 2015 to 14.67 per cent in April 15-August 2016.
Gender-wise, the number of female callers and e-mails is increased, whereas the number of male callers has seen a decline over the past few years.
In sending e-mail requests, number of females has risen to 60.34 per cent in April 2015 – August 2016.
The report indicates that English is the preferred language by callers, followed by Hindi and Marathi.