This Tuesday May 10 begins to work free and anonymously the phone 024an online suicide care service to help people with suicidal behavior that has been implemented by the Ministry of Health.
The Government announced the launch of this resource last October 2021 and six months later it will be available to receive calls. For her part, the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, announced on May 9 that this is the first line of action of the mental health action plan endowed with 100 million euros that will be approved soon.
024, suicide hotline
Anonymous and free. This telephone number will provide telephone assistance anonymously and free of charge with the support of professionals to prevent or impede behaviors that result in risks to life or physical integrity.
Immediate and accessible. It will be confidential and accessible to all kinds of people. So it will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Thus, they will have a video interpretation service in sign language and interpretation for those who speak another language.
How does it work. When a person is tempted to commit suicidal behavior, this telephone number will be available to them. You can also contact a relative or close person if this situation occurs.
Active listening. As the minister explained, whoever calls will find expert and trained people on the other end of the phone, such as psychologists and emergency technicians.
These will evaluate the situation, assess the risk and activate, if necessary, the emergency services of each autonomous community to go to the assistance of the caller.
From the Ministry of Health they point out that the 024 line is not intended to replace or be an alternative to face-to-face consultation with a health professional when necessary.
Service outsourced to the Red Cross
In a first phase, the telephone will be managed by the Red Cross for a year, «while the Ministry of Health continues with the final tender for the service», as they spread from the ministry in a press release. Thus, the organization has been awarded direct aid of 2,049,750 euros.
Subsequently, in February 2022, the designated operator, Evolutio Cloud Enabler SA, was made public and was awarded a contract for 14,921.40 euros (excluding taxes).
11 people commit suicide a day
Minister Darias assures that these are avoidable deaths. According to statistics from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), 11 people commit suicide a day and 220 attempt it daily.
In Spain, suicide is the main cause of external death with 3,941 people in 2020, the latest data available from the INE. This figure has increased by 7.4% compared to 2019. Within this type of external deaths, those caused by traffic accidents or homicides are included.
In addition, it is one of the ten main causes of death, with 34 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020, according to the INE.
If you have ever contemplated suicidal ideation, or know someone in this situation, there are professionals prepared and ready to help you. There are other telephone numbers where you can ask for help, such as the Telephone of Hope (717 003 717) or the Telephone Against Suicide (911 385 385). In addition, on the website of the Association of Professionals in Prevention and Postvention of Suicide (PAPAGENO), you can find different resources and materials in this regard.
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