Edition 1442
23 September 2017
Edition: 1442

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Association responds to over 1,000 requests on suicide help line

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 11-09-2017 08:32:00 · 0 Comments

Associação Telefone da Amizade (Friendship Telephone Association - ATA), which was on 24-hour duty as part of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday, has responded since January to 715 calls and 315 emails from people with emotional problems.

Association responds to over 1,000 requests on suicide help line

 

According to the head of the association based in the northern Portuguese city of Porto, José Paulo Leal, the number of calls made is in ffact "far higher" than the number of responses given as the association still has a "lack of volunteers" that prevents it from offering "greater coverage."

 

In a statement sent to Lusa, the ATA said it will offer a 24-hour service on 10 September [Sunday] to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. According to ATA suicide claims more lives every year than "terrorist attacks, wars and murders."

 

"In fact, even adding up the deaths from all these causes, they are always fewer than the deaths by suicide in the same period of time," said the statement.

 

Based on figures from the Pordata portal, ATA points out that in Portugal in 2015 there were 1,127 suicides and that this is the second cause of death among young people, both nationally and globally.

 

In view of this statistic, the ATA asks why, in countries such as Portugal, "there are more suicides annually than deaths on the road (445 in 2016) or resulting from AIDS (390 in 2015)," receiving "more media attention and support for prevention."

 

Considering that the suicide figures are "just the tip of the iceberg," the association recalls the "suffering of families and friends" of each of the victims and adds another number to the statistics, estimating that for each actual suicide "25 people have made attempts."

 

Warning of the importance of "reducing these numbers," ATA explains that the Friendship Telephone "seeks to listen to people in personal crisis and at risk of suicide," and allows them, "to vent about what leads them to think about ending their own life, or even about how they might do it."

 

"Confidentially, without judgement and without any rush, by telephone or by email every day from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.," the statement said.

 

ATA was created in 1982 and its mission involves 23 volunteers, and just 13, according to José Paulo Leal, "volunteer regularly."

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Edition 1442
23 September 2017
Edition: 1442

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter