Overcoming the stigma surrounding mental health in Sri Lanka is a slow process which has encouragingly been gaining some traction as of late. “You are not alone”, a phrase reiterated by mental health advocates to promote the understanding that no one is alone in the battle against mental illness. There is always someone else who will understand what you are going through. There is always someone to whom you can reach out and talk.
Mental Health issues take many shapes and forms, and the support you may need varies accordingly. Whether you don’t know where to go, or whom to turn to or whether you’re simply looking for anonymity, here’s a list of places that offer various mental health services.
An NGO that deals with suicide prevention and crisis intervention, Sumithrayo offers confidential emotional support to those struggling with feelings of despair, depression, and suicide. Their aim is to help those going through an emotional crisis by listening and befriending them, because talking helps.
Address: 60B Horton Place, Wijerama Mw, Colombo 07
Contact number: 0112696666
Open times: 365 days a year, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
2. Mel Medura
Affiliated with Sumithrayo, Mel Medura provides support for all alcohol and drug related issues. You can personally reach out to them at the address below or call the number below for guidance and help.
Address: 60B, Horton Place, Wijerama Mw, Colombo 07
Contact number: 0112693460
Open times: Monday to Saturday, 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
3. Family Planning Association (FPA)
Apart from the range of fully confidential and affordable sexual and reproductive health services that the FPA offers, it also provides counselling services. Operating under the name ‘Alokaya Counselling Centre’, you can receive individual counselling on various issues such as psychological problems, marital and premarital concerns, sexual and reproductive health matters, educational difficulties and so on. They further offer group counselling on matters such as stress management as well as marital and premarital concerns.
Address: 37/27 Bullers Lane, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka
Contact number: +9411 255 5455 or +9411 258 0915 / 255 6611
Open Monday through Friday 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Closed on public and bank holidays.
You can further directly contact their qualified counselors in person or over the phone:
Ms. Badra Udawatta
‘Alokaya’ Counselling Center.
37/27 Bullers Lane,
Tel: +94 2 584 157 ext. 162
Ms. Hema Ranawake
Tel: + 94 2 555 455 ext. 163
4. Shanthi Maargam
A youth counselling center, which provides a safe space to enhance young people’s emotional and psychological well-being while simultaneously creating opportunities for their education and future.
Address: 69/17, Gothami Road, Borella
Contact number: 0717639898
Open time: Tuesday to Friday, 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
A resource center for trauma, displacement and mental health, Samutthana is aimed at training and supporting organisations and individuals responding to trauma in Sri Lanka. They also provides counselling and psychological support for individuals.
Address: No. 419, Nawala Road, Nawala, Sri Lanka
Contact number: +94 0115767585 or +94 0112883847
6. CCC Foundation
The Courage Compassion Commitment (CCC) Foundation is a nonprofit organisation based in Australia and Sri Lanka, through which the CCCline was established. The CCCline is a free, confidential Telephone Counselling service in Sri Lanka that offers emotional support and guidance for people undergoing difficulties or even just need someone to talk to.
By dialing CCCline’s 1333 number, callers will reach trained telephone counsellors who are ready to provide confidential and non-judgmental help. In certain cases, you might even be given a referral to other support services.
Contact number: 1333
Open time: 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
7. Institute of Mental Health (IMH)
IMH addresses mental health issue and is involved in providing wellness services as well as education and training opportunities. They also offer confidential counseling services, psychotherapy sessions and consultations (upon request) on an individual and/or group basis.
Address: No. 36A, Shrubbery Gardens, Colombo 04.
Contact number: +94 11 2506004 or +94 714 749625
8. National Council for Mental Health (NCMH) – Sahanaya
A nonprofit governmental organisation dedicated to mental health care and development of mental health services in Sri Lanka, the trained counselors at the NCMH can help you with various issues such as depression, anxiety, marital issues, psychological phobias, sexual problems and relationship issues.
While you can go to the NCMH through a referral, you are also free to seek out personal counselling if you wish to. They recommend that you make a prior appointment beforehand in order to avoid any inconveniences.
They also have a facility in Gorakana, the details of which are available on their website: www.ncmh.lk
Address: No. 96/20, Kitulwatta Road, Colombo – 08, Sri Lanka.
Contact number: +94 112 685 960 or +94 115 350 819
Open time: Monday to Friday, 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
9. Women in Need (WIN)
A local nonprofit organisation tackling issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Sri Lanka, WIN aims to protect those suffering from violence and abuse, while working to ensure that the violence is not recurrent, and the rights and confidentiality of the victims are protected. Furthermore, WIN is recognizes and attempts to mitigate the psychological effects of violence and abuse, in order to enable the victims of GBV to overcome their trauma.
WIN currently has six crisis centers, seven help desks in police stations and seven help desks in hospitals. The six crisis centers are located in Anuradhapura, Colombo, Badulla, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Kandy and Matara; the details to which can be found on their website: winsl.net/index.html
Address: No.25 Tickell Road, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka.
Contact Number: 011-4718585 (24 hour hotline)
011-2671401 / 011-2671411
10. Arnaha Center for Wellbeing
A rather new mental health service, Arnaha Center for Wellbeing offers the highest quality psychological interventions and practical support for people experiencing a wide range of common mental health problems. Their trained therapists can help with a full range of psychological difficulties including depression, low mood, self-esteem,stress, anxiety, anger, OCD, phobias, worry, emotional crises and adjustments, and bereavement.
Address: 111/12 A, Vishnu Kovil Cross Road, Dehiwala
Contact number: 077 051 8173
11. Psychologists (Private Practitioners)
a) Nivendra Uduman – Founder of Footsteps to Freedom, a trained counselling psychologist and psychotherapist, Nivendra Uduman has a private practice located at 166/1A, Rampart Road, Ethul Kotte.
b) Kushlani Munasinghe
c) Kavita Amaratunga (Contact through Arnaha Center for Wellbeing: 077 051 8173)
d) Shalindi Pandithakoralage – Clinical Psychologist at Psychological Sciences Institute (Pvt) Ltd (+94 117 489 444)
e) Rekha Attidiye – Ceylinco Healthcare Centre
f) Nilanga Abeysinghe – Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology and Medical Psychology, at South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine
Source From Pulse.lk
Author: Ridhmi Subaseela
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