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Nigeria’s First Toll-free Line Focused on Mental Health Issues

Officials say social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the economy have tripled the number of mental health cases. In response, Nigeria has launched a toll-free 24-hour helpline staffed by trained psychologists and counselors. Psychologist Aisha Abdullahi heads the team of counselors working the helpline.  In April 2020, she started free online counseling after seeing a significant jump in the number of mental health cases after Nigeria had recorded rising cases of the coronavirus. Experts say that even though the number of people needing mental health services tripled during the pandemic, less than 10 percent get help because of the stigma attached to it.