Dutch gov't to invest more in suicide prevention

Paul Blokhuis

State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health will critically look into the cause of the increased number of suicides in the Netherlands, he said on Tuesday. He wants to know what caused the increase, and whether it is a one-time peak or if something else is going on, NU.nl reports.

On Tuesday Statistics Netherlands revealed that 1,917 people committed suicide in the Netherlands last year. The number of teenagers who died by suicide nearly doubled, from 48 in 2016 to 81 last year. 

According to Blokhuis, the increase "underlines the necessity of the government's policy to put extra emphasis on suicide prevention". One of the government's measures is to push more money into suicide prevention foundation 113 Zelfmoordpreventie.

Blokhuis will discuss the increase in suicides and measures to improve suicide prevention with 113 Zelfmoordpreventie and the association of Dutch municipalities VNG, among others, this week, according to the newspaper. 

Those in the Netherlands who are suffering from depression or contemplating suicide may call counselors at Sensoor, 0900-0767 (5 ct./min.), or call their volunteers at a local number. 113 Zelfmoordpreventie is also available 24/7 at number 0900-0133 A list of suicide crisis hotlines outside the Netherlands is available on Wikipedia.


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