Philippine crisis hotline helps more people thru CCaaS

More people have benefited from the preventive and promotive programs of Philippines’ National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), the Department of Health’s flagship hospital for mental health, since they adopted cloud technology to strengthen their 24/7 Crisis Hotline at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, NCMH initiated a partnership with ePLDT, the ICT subsidiary of PLDT, with a vision for its #1553 Crisis Hotline to have the widest reach possible. 

To help achieve this vision, ePLDT deployed its Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) — a cloud-based contact centre platform hosted in ePLDT’s local data centre. 

This is fully integrated with Salesforce, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, that effectively monitors, tracks, and consolidates callers’ information in a single view.

The crisis hotline was launched in May 2019 with the aim of helping prevent individuals from committing suicide.  It also served as a portal that provides access for those in need of mental health intervention to mental health professionals and facilities.

Bernard B. Argamosa, founding program director of NCMH 24/7 Crisis Hotline, said they started with only two numbers and one cellphone, and by doing things “manually.”  

“We have no way of [doing] checks and balances,” said Argamosa. “It came to a point when we could not control the number of calls anymore. That’s when we decided that we needed to level up.” 

He said the collaboration with ePLDT led to the development of an efficient system that works like a call centre and can take up to 15 calls at a time. 

The new system provided NCMH a single contact centre platform capable of inbound calling with automatic call distribution to manage calls with reportorial capabilities and audit, including emails, chats, SMS, and social media for monitoring of customer satisfaction.

Features such as outbound calling capability for call out and call back process, call centre management portal, and reporting tools helped NCMH and its cause.