Natasha Goulbourn Foundation Continues To Help Lives Through HOPELINE
A life is lost to suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide has become one of the top leading causes of deaths in the world, including here in the Philippines. Statistics say that the country is currently facing an alarming rise in the number of Filipino people suffering from mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Unfortunately, this long-standing issue is still kept hidden behind closed doors within Filipino households.
This is exactly what Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) aims to battle, to bring to light the importance of talking about mental health. NGF was founded in 2007 by fashion designer Jean Goulbourn in honour of her daughter, Natasha Goulbourn, who died from over-medication after a long battle with depression.
The non-profit organisation, one of the country’s pioneer independent foundations recognised by the International Association on Suicide Prevention, commits to end the stigma on depression through educational lectures and help those who are weighed down by the disorder through referrals to partner psychologists and its 24/7 crisis hotline: HOPELINE.
“Suicide cases in the Philippines is rising at an alarming rate and depression incidences are at an all-time high. We at NGF and our crisis hotline HOPELINE, experience more and more calls every day. We have so far saved more than 300,000 lives,” shared NGF Executive Director Jean Goulbourn.
Recently, in a gathering for friends and media, NGF reiterated their appeal for support for HOPELINE and further educated the Filipino people to break the stigma, shame, and fear attached to mental disorders.
Last June, it was announced that the Department of Health has withdrawn all support for the NGF HOPELINE, and in October, HOPELINE moved to a private location in Pasig due to the generosity of Jun Sy, President of TAO Corporation and the incoming Chairman of the NGF Board of Trustees.
However, HOPELINE is still not out of the woods. From the responders’ salaries, continued training, and weekly psychological assistance to a host of other expenses, there is still a substantial cost to continue HOPELINE’s operation.This issue will definitely be tackled by the incoming Board of Trustees Chairman Jun Sy and NGF Founding President and Executive Director Jean Goulbourn, together with Vice Chairman Dr. Romeo Enriquez, Frances Lim of Silk Cocoon, Entrepreneur Carlos Abad, Jeff Paulino of Ideas X Machina and PRIXM, Atty. Gerry Paras, and Dr. Gerardo Los Baños.
The foundation will also host a benefit concert this 18 November 2019 called “Beyond the Blues with the Beatles” featuring Beatles’ songs interpreted by award-winning singers: Bituin Escalante, Jon Santos, Nicole Asensio, and Michael Williams at the Grand Ballroom of the New World Hotel in Makati. Proceeds of the concert will go directly to HOPELINE responders and the maintenance of the crisis hotline.
The official HOPELINE numbers are: 8.804.4673; 0917.588.HOPE (4683); and 2919 (toll free for Globe and TM Subscribers).
For inquiries, visit www.ngf-hope.org or Hopeline PH on Facebook.