Suicide prevention hotline now available at number 113

Call center operator
Call center operator Photo: DmitryPoch/DepositPhotos

From this week, suicide prevention hotline 113 Zelfmoordpreventie can be reached on the number 1-1-3. Until now, people in a state of mental crisis had to call the number 0800-0113. The new number will be officially launched later this week, NU.nl reports.

In the autumn, the government promised to work on creating the number 113 for the suicide prevention hotline, after at least two people took their own life after being unable to reach the helpline because they did not have the correct number.  "People who are suicidal must be able to find and receive the right support and help quickly and without barriers," State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health said at the time.

In September last year, a 26-year-old woman took her own life after calling 113 three times. According to her parents, she received the number from a counselor. The same happened to a 61-year-old man two months earlier.

113 Zelfmoordpreventie is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The helpline is contacted by around 90 thousand people per  year. Over 1,800 people took their own lives in the Netherlands last year. 

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

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