More than 2,000 counselling sessions have been delivered by counsellors on the U-Matter Mental Health Chatline in the one year since its inception.

U-Matter was launched in March last year by the Health and Wellness Ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund.

The chat line was created to help young people with mental health challenges, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNICEF Representative to Jamaica, Olga Isaza, says based on research, 60 percent of those treated at hospitals for attempted suicides are adolescents and young people under age 24.

She says having access to trained persons who can assist youth in finding their own solutions can save lives and make steady improvements.

So far, 88 percent of U-Matter users say they would contact the service again while 85 percent say they would recommend it to a friend.