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Coronavirus5 min read


Suicide hotline calls up 1,400% in Thailand

Kelsey Campbell
Jul 27, 2020

Lara hangs her wet, soapy hair over a bucket and rings out as much shampoo as she can.

She’s careful not to let any spill on the cramped bedding of the four other girls living with her in their tiny one-room home. They’ll need every last drop of the soapy water for the next time they wash their hair since they can’t afford to buy any more shampoo. 

Lara, whose name we’ve changed, is just one of the countless people around the globe who has been pushed to desperate measures since losing her job to the pandemic. It’s no wonder then that suicide hotlines have been ringing nonstop since the coronavirus swept the world.

People are desperate … not just for food or work … but for something to hold onto.

You can help give them the hope they are looking for. Your gift today will help provide physical aid like food, clean water, hygiene kits, and more, plus you will show them the love of Christ. And because your gift DOUBLES thanks to a matching gift, every $8 you give is enough to help rescue two people!

Lara was barely staying afloat even before the pandemic. In Thailand, girls like her are expected to be the breadwinners for their families. They often leave the villages or slums where they grew up so they can earn money in big cities like Bangkok or Pattaya. But more times than not, they end up selling their bodies as sex workers as a last resort.

Now that the red-light districts are closed though, even that deflating life vest is no longer an option. There’s no more work. No more income. And no more hope.

Suicide hotlines in Thailand used to take about 30 to 40 calls per month, according to one Thai news article. Now, the phones are ringing off the hook with 600 calls in one month. That’s an increase of 1,400 percent!

Although Lara, thankfully, has not reached that point, she has hit rock bottom in many other ways.

After squeezing out her hair and putting the bucket of soapy water away, Lara pulls on the same dirty clothes she had worn earlier in the week. She and her roommates have sold most of their wardrobes, pooling their profits to buy a little bit of rice.

So many people in Thailand are starving.

“Every day, the food distribution lines get longer and longer,” our Thailand partner said. “One line gave food to 1,500 people today and turned many away. That is after they started lining up at 4 a.m. when the distribution didn’t begin until 9 a.m. It’s estimated that 80 percent of Pattaya is not working.”

And it’s not just in Thailand. Since the start of the pandemic, starvation and malnutrition are up worldwide.

There are people like Lara all around the globe who are doing everything in their power to save money, scrape by, and try to survive. But the coronavirus is making it impossible. And it’s making people feel worthless, hopeless, and like there’s nothing else to live for.

That’s where you come in! You can help.

Generous World Help Board members have pledged to match your gift up to $300,000. So, every $8 you give will DOUBLE to help TWO people who desperately need aid like food, clean water, medical care, hygiene kits, and more. You’ll provide spiritual hope for people who may have given up, too.

Your gift will also help World Help erase a projected budget shortfall caused by canceled fundraising events due to the coronavirus, ensuring that the needy families who were counting on those funds still receive the help they need.

One way that our partners in Thailand are helping spread hope is by distributing hand sanitizers with their personal phone numbers written on the bottles. They want people like Lara to know they’re not alone and that they have a lifeline if they need it.

When you choose to give today to help people all around the world in desperate need, you can do the same. You can help save lives and bring hope.

You can be the lifeline someone desperately needs.

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