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34,000 calls to the national prevention number since its inauguration

Saturday is National Suicide Prevention Day. A crucial subject, especially since the national number (3114) reported on Friday having received more than 34,000 calls since its launch four months ago. The mental health of the French has been put to the test by the pandemic and the health restrictions it has caused.

The Department of Health noted two “spikes” in calls. The first “around the end of the year celebrations” and the second “after the passage of Stromae” in the 8 p.m. newspaper of TF1 where the Belgian singer unveiled “Hell”, title of his future album evoking “suicidal thoughts “.

France at the forefront of suicides in Europe

From 10 to 15% of these calls resulted in Samu being taken care of. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this free national number is dedicated to people with suicidal thoughts, but also to their loved ones and to those bereaved by suicide. The 169 respondents are hospital professionals, supervised by psychiatrists.

Currently, there are 11 centers in the regions, others are to come this year. The 3114 will soon be enriched with a “chat” service. With around 9,000 suicides per year, France has “one of the highest rates in Europe”, according to Public Health France.

Mental health disrupted by the pandemic

An average that dates from before the Covid-19. “The health crisis has acted as a catalyst for mental health problems, especially among certain specific audiences such as young people”, notes the ministry in a press release.

According to the latest delivery of the Coviprev study initiated by Public Health France, 9% of French people have had suicidal thoughts during the year, a high level, four points higher than the level outside the epidemic.

A sector “on the verge of implosion”

The 3114, launched six months earlier than expected in the face of the health situation, completed an arsenal of devices, such as VigilanS, created in 2015, which tracks people who have attempted suicide, measures to prevent “suicidal contagion” or training courses, renovated in 2019.

Suicide prevention is a priority for the ministry, which included it in its 2018 mental health and psychiatry roadmap, we reminded Olivier Véran’s office. During the Assizes of mental health and psychiatry, at the end of September 2021, Emmanuel Macron announced a series of measures for a sector which had said itself “on the verge of implosion”, without completely satisfying the actors.

Source: 20minutes

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