For the second time in a few months someone tried in vain to reach the suicide prevention hotline in the Netherlands, and took his own life a short time afterwards. The man called 113, thinking that this is the helpline's number given that it is called 113 Zelfmoordpreventie. The actual number is 0900 0113.
Students at the Trinitas Gymnasium in Almere were threatened after they arranged a number of activities at school for "Coming Out Day" on Friday, according to letters the school sent to parents, Omroep Flevoland reports.
The students involved had arranged a number of activities for Coming Out Day, including local alderman Jerzy Soetekouw coming to raise a rainbow flag at the school. The activities were arranged at the students initiative, and the school gave them room to do so.
State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health wants to break through the taboo among young people on talking about their sexual orientation. To do so he launched a hashtag and renewed a website where children unsure about their sexual identity can discuss it with other people from the LGBTQ community.
Dutch pulmonologists want the government to completely ban e-cigarettes in the country. "We don't want any more e-cigarettes coming into the Netherlands", Leon van den Toorn, chairman of the Dutch association for doctors specializing in pulmonary diseases and tuberculosis NVLAT, said in an interview with newspaper AD.
According to Van den Toorn, there are multiple "worrying developments" around e-cigarettes. At least eight Dutch people have reported to lung doctors with complaints sustained after using e-cigarettes, he said. One of them ended up in intensive care.
From 2021 boys in the Netherlands will also be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus virus (HPV), State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health announced on Friday. Currently only girls are vaccinated against this virus, which can cause cervical cancer.
Today is the first ever 'Tap Water Day' in the Netherlands. Today, kids will only get water to drink at school and will get lessons on water and its benefits, in an effort to make water drinking more normal than drinking sugary sodas. State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health kicked off Tap Water Day at primary school Diamant in Het Rooster in Apeldoorn, RTL Nieuws reports.
The ChristenUnie's stance on same sex marriage - that it should not be allowed - is up for debate. ChristenUnie State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health said that he wanted to discuss this anti-gay marriage stance with his party in an interview with EO radio program Dit is de dag. "I would really like to have that conversation with the party, yes", he said, NOS reports.
From next year, care providers in psychiatric care will be allowed to use coercive measures against uncooperative patients. Blocking a wheelchair, using writs bands as cuffs, and confinement will soon be permitted in extreme cases, AD reports based on forms from which care providers will work next year.
New legislation that will be implemented on January 1st makes it possible to force uncooperative patients with a mental disorder or intellectual disability to receive treatment. The forms in AD's possession show how that will be done in practice.
More and more Dutch restaurants and bars are banning smoking on their terraces. Last year the country counted 39 terraces that were completely or partly smoke-free, now there are 113, according to figures from anti-smoking organization Clean Air Nederland. The vast majority of terraces still allow smoking - there are thousands of terraces in the Netherlands.
The vaccination rate in the Netherlands remained stable last year, seeming to indicate that the declining trend over the past years is coming to an end, public health institute RIVM announced on Monday.
Around 75 thousand patients with psychotic disorders in the Netherlands are not receiving the psychotherapy that specialists say they need. Medication is also not always provided according to the prescribed guidelines, according to a Vrije Universiteit Amserdam study commissioned by the association for behavioral and cognitive therapies VGCt, the Volkskrant reports.
Children's rights organization KidsRights wants the government to make the vaccination against measles compulsory. According to chairman and former Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert, there is no other solution now that the vaccination rate dropped to 92.9 percent. "Mandatory vaccination seems inevitable", he said to the Volkskrant.
The Netherlands remembered the victims of the Second World War with commemorations across the country on Saturday. King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte attended the National Commemoration in Amsterdam on Saturday evening. Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema stressed that the the lack of freedom during the war must be passed on so that it can be remembered "as if the war were yesterday. Even if no one remembers what it is like to live in an occupied country", Het Parool reports.
Over 20 thousand people are expected to attend the National Commemoration of Remembrance Day in Amsterdam on Saturday evening. Attendees include King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
From January 1st next year, the packages of cigarettes sold in the Netherlands will all have the same shape and neutral colors, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health announced as one of the measures meant to make smoking less attractive, NOS reports.
In addition to the usual health warnings, cigarette packages may only contain the name of the manufacturer and information about the type of cigarette. These same rules will apply to shag packaging, and from 2022 likely also to cigars and e-cigarettes.
The Dutch government is launching an investigation into the advantages and disadvantages of an "overall vaccination obligation" to get the vaccination rate back up if it falls even lower, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health wrote in a letter to parliament. He called mandatory vaccinations the "extreme measure", RTL Nieuws reports.
So far this year, up until the start of April, there have been 15 cases of measles in the Netherlands. In previous years, the country counted between 10 and 20 measles diagnoses over the entire year, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis said in a letter to parliament. He blames the increase in diagnoses on outbreaks in various other European countries, AD reports.
The Netherlands Smoke Free Alliance put two lung doctors out of the alliance of tobacco fighters because the way they operate is too confrontational, Trouw reports.
State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health, Welfare and Sports launched a new action program aimed at helping the over 10 thousand homeless young people in the Netherlands. The program will launch immediately in 10 test municipalities, with the aim of getting all the homeless young people the help they need by 2021, NOS reports.
Of the nearly 132 thousand Dutch 13- and 14-year-olds who were invited to get a free vaccination against the meningococcus bacteria in the autumn of 2018, around 18 thousand ignored the call. The national turnout percentage is 86.5 percent. The lowest turnout was in Zeeland and Amsterdam, only 72 to 77 percent of teens went to get vaccinated, AD reports based on figures from public health institute RIVM.
Youth care will soon approach parents who refuse to vaccinate their children to explain to them exactly why vaccination is important. In this way State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health wants to address the decreasing vaccination rate more actively, the Volkskrant reports.
The Netherlands will organize and host a global World Health Organization conference against tobacco in 2020, was announced in Geneva on Saturday during the closing ceremony of the 8th Conference of Parties of the so-called WHO-FCTC treaty. State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health took the initiative to bring the conference to the Netherlands, ANP reports.
A national hotline will be established in the Netherlands for people who are worried about someone showing disturbed behavior, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis said in a letter to parliament. That number will be available 24/7, and people who call it will get into contact with health professionals from a special reporting and advice point in their own region, NOS reports.
The Dutch government will re-examine whether it is possible to allow daycare centers to refuse children who haven't been vaccinated. A parliamentary majority, led by the three largest government parties, supports this, RTL Nieuws reports.
"Childcare must be a safe place. I understand the concerns about decreasing vaccination, that also affects childcare", State Secretary Tamara van Ark of Social Affairs said on Twitter. "That is why I want to investigate possibilities for organizations to refuse childcare for non-vaccinated children."