Lifeline’s call centres inundated with ‘cries for help’ from young people

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Lifeline says its call centres are inundated with ‘cries for help’ from young people seeking help for exam-related stress and depression due to involvement in risky sexual behaviours.

As the year draws to a close, pressure and expectations are rising especially among the youth, but Lifeline says its trained counsellors are on hand to offer assistance.

Help is just a call away.

For many, it’s the difference between life and death. On the other side of the line, call centre agent Michael Sediane is the voice of reason.

“We try by all means to help a person to pick up the broken pieces of their hearts. You find that this person can’t cope at all, this person has been torn apart and she doesn’t know what to do. You find emotionally and psychologically it drains you a lot but we are here to give that time to our callers.”

Eva Phaladi has gone from victim to victor. Phaladi has been a counsellor for ten years and uses her ordeal of emotional abuse to help others.

“We know as ladies that it’s hard for us to assist each other as women, to talk to other women you feel judged. But when you receive a caller who has been through the same thing, you can tell them in a counselling way that they are not alone. Behind the scenes, we have also been abused ourselves. But by being a survivor, it becomes easier.”

Mpho Kgame also uses her bad experiences to empower others. “I was also a victim of an assault. I went for counselling at Lifeline and after that, I decided to help other women who are going through what I went through and there are women who are going thru worse than what I went through.”

The 24-hour helpline to Stop Gender Violence is 0800-150-150.