Friday, 25 April 2014

Increasingly more children call suicide helpline

28 February 2013

Prague, Feb 27 (CTK) - The number of children that call the Czech Safety Line with problems related to suicidal or self-destructive tendencies more than doubled over the past five years, Jan Kanak, from the free anonymous helpline, said yesterday.

In 2008 the helpline operators had 610 such calls, while in 2012 it was 1313.

These cases represented 2 percent all the last year's calls whose number reached over 238,000.

Compared to 2011, the total number of calls dropped by 6 percent, but the number of serious calls increased by one-tenth.

Kanak said this may be thanks to the growing trust children have in the helpline.

He said the operators last year dealt with 46 cases of children who were already committing suicide and they had to cooperate with rescuers in order to save their lives.

Kanak said kids are generally under pressure as parents and others expect them to have excellent results and the kids may start feeling that the only way out of the unhappy situation is to give up and commit suicide.

Safety Line director Richard Schinko said the operation costs are about 22 million crowns a year.

Schinko said the state subsidies have been cut and now they form about one-fourth of the budget. Most of the finances come from foundations set up by business companies and individuals also contributed, he added.

He indicated that the present capacity of the helpline is not sufficient as the line is often busy and children need two or three attempts to have their calls answered on the average.

($1=19.544 crowns)

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