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Hotline helps youth cope with mental, legal woes

China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-26 10:18
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In June 2022, a visually impaired youth surnamed Chen encountered difficulties in navigating train travel. To seek help, he called the 12355 hotline.

The hotline promptly contacted social workers to help Chen arrange his trip, and to address the young man's distress caused by his disability, the hotline also offered counseling from a psychiatrist.

Chen said that the service has greatly boosted the confidence of disabled people like him who need to arrange long trips.

Since its establishment by the Communist Youth League of China Central Committee in 2006, the hotline has helped hundreds of thousands of young people in China by providing much needed counseling for mental health and legal problems.

The 12355 platform has 115 hotlines across the country, offering legal and mental health consultations to about 600,000 people annually. These services can also be accessed around the clock through the 12355 online portal, which was established last May.

Catering to the needs of young people, the platform has diversified its services. In addition to offering counseling, it organizes special activities aimed at enhancing their psychological well-being.

For instance, during the senior high school and college entrance exam period last year, the platform organized a series of stress-relieving activities to ease the anxiety students have about taking the exams and boost their confidence.

The platform has also forged cooperation with various departments to protect the rights of young people in China.

In July, the 12355 platform in Shanghai received a distress message from an individual surnamed Ma who had been abducted and taken to Myanmar. Acting on guidance from the CYLC Central Committee, the mental health counselor maintained contact with Ma, gathering crucial information that contributed to the successful rescue of the youngster.

Meanwhile, regional authorities are adopting measures to maximize the platform's functionality, enabling it to play a more significant role in initiatives such as preventing delinquent behavior and enhancing the health and well-being of youths.

Moving forward, the platform plans to persist in innovating its service methods and enhancing its capacity to cater to the evolving needs of young people.


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