Church’s SOS helpline in Norway registers large increase in calls about loneliness

Depression panic mentalPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB
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The Church’s SOS helpline (Kirkens SOS) has responded to over 2,000 inquiries between December 23 and 27. Just under a third of the conversations were about loneliness.

The Church’s SOS has answered 2,256 inquiries by telephone this Christmas. That amounts to approximately 450 inquiries a day.

“Many of the conversations have been characterized by a lot of loneliness and mental challenges at the end of this very special year,” the organization’s Secretary-General Lasse Heimdal said in a press release.

This Christmas, 30% of the helpline calls were about loneliness, compared to 19% last year.

On the chat service SOS-chat.no, which is largely used by younger people, 209 calls have been answered so far this Christmas. 

Suicidal thoughts

That service also sees a marked increase in conversations about loneliness and suicidal thoughts.

“On the SOS-chat, we see the tripling of the percentage of conversations that deal with loneliness compared to Christmas last year. Many of our volunteers also describe this loneliness as extra hopeless, dark, and painful this year,” Heimdal added.

He encouraged people to reach out to a friend, colleague, acquaintance, or family member. 

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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