Norway to strengthen anti-suicide telephone services with millions of kroner: “People are struggling”

Face mask callPhoto: engin akyurt / Unsplash

The Norwegian government will continue to strengthen crisis services aimed at preventing suicide, which received NOK 10 million of additional support earlier this year.

The Church’s SOS crisis service and Mental Health’s helpline got additional NOK 5 million allocations each in January. 

This initiative will be continued in the government’s proposal for the state budget for next year, news bureau NTB was told by the Conservative Party’s health policy spokesperson Sveinung Stensland.

“We see that there is still a great need to help people who are struggling. In the work of preventing suicide, the emergency telephone services are vital,” Stensland noted.

In the proposal presented on Wednesday, the Church’s SOS ‘crisis service will receive a grant of NOK 25.8 million, while the Mental Health’s crisis hotline will receive NOK 25.5 million.

Related to the pandemic

“Several people experience loneliness and isolation in connection with the pandemic. Therefore, we will turn the temporarily increased support to permanent (support). This is ensured in the state budget,” Stensland added.

Both services are 24-hour telephone services. 

The Church’s SOS crisis service received 161,582 inquiries in 2019 and had a response rate of 63%. 

The Mental Health’s helpline answered 55,822 out of 174,360 calls in 2019, a response rate of 32%.

Stensland emphasized that the increased allocation is expected to contribute to increasing capacity and the response rate.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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