The idea came into being after death of a very good friend, who committed suicide in 2017. We were grown up together, and we were friends since 18 years. One fine day, I came to know that he committed suicide. This made me realize that one person, who is my friend since many years, still he did not have the courage to share anything that was disturbing him and he committed suicide. If one person, could not find anyone to share anything, how many people would be out there who are dying silently, because they dont have anyone to communicate to! Death of a very good friend helped me in making something that would help people to communicate effectively.

What it does

Established in 2018 March, Baat Karo – Talk because we listen is a free Islamabad Based community service, that focuses on suicide intervention, prevention, awareness, and education. We provide help and hope through online chat, college campuses, and high school events and other educational programs. Depression is treatable.

How we built it

We started off in March 2018, with a WhatsApp based chatline, and now, we are offering free chat-based help through our website & Facebook page. We are using Facebook family of apps to provide communication opportunities to people who are suffering from depression. We built our chat widget in 2019, and shifted it on website. The chat widget is used to connect people with professionals, and they provide them free help!

Challenges we ran into

The first challenge we ran into, was convincing people that its okay to talk, its okay if you are depressed, and a team of volunteers is there to listen to you, and to help you! This was the biggest challenge to fight the taboo attached with mental health and depression.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We have served more than 10,000 people so far, through our website, through our Whatsapp chatline, through our Facebook page and through our chat widget. Because of this hackathon, we developed our messenger bot, and we are still working on it.

What we learned

Its okay to fail, but the happiness you get, when you help someone coming out of their depression is definitely eternal.

What's next for Baat Karo - Talk because we listen

Baat karo is working to save as many lives as we can and to bring hope to those who are effected by depression. The next goal is to work and establish this as a national forum in Pakistan, to help people. The mental health of people of Pakistan is already deteriorating & people are not willing to accept it as a disease. We are getting messages from all over the world now, but what we are working now is to make people realize that suicide is preventable. We believe the most important thing in a person’s life is “peace of mind”. Depression can be devastating. Jobs come to an end, relationships break down and lives can be lost, all resulting in depression. That’s why the work we do here at Baat Karo is so important – it not only changes lives but saves them.

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