The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) in Singapore has launched a free one-stop service, called Help123, for youth cyber wellness issues. The issues could range from cyber bullying to having social media account hacked or having an addiction to the Internet, gaming, porn, etc.
Help can be accessed via any of three channels, webchat, email or a hotline at 1800 6123 123. The chat is open from 2pm to 10pm, Mon- Fri (excluding public holidays), while the hotline opens from 10am to 6pm on Weekdays.
Family members and educators, who know a youth who might be facing a cyber wellness issue, can also reach out to Help123.
The Help123 counsellors are trained youth social workers and counsellors who are also well-versed in the area of cyber wellness. Help123 is not meant for emergencies.
Information and resources are shared on cyberbullying, gaming, inappropriate content, social media, mobile technology and online privacy.
Partners include Community Chest, the fund-raising and engagement arm of NCSS; Care & Share, a national fund-raising and volunteerism movement led by Community Chest; two not-for-profit organisations, Fei Yue Community Services and Touch Cyber Wellness, a service of TOUCH Youth, a division of TOUCH Community Services; and Singtel. Today newspaper reported that Touch is operating the phone line and email platforms, while another charity, Fei Yue Community Services, manages the webchat.
The online platform could encourage more youth to seek help who might be hesitant about a face-to-face consultation.