24/7 Crisis Line for Mental Health Issues to Be Launched after 12 Years

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(stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 20 (TASR) – A telephone line providing service to people with psychological problems 24 hours a day and 365 days a year will be put into operation next year after 12 years of standstill, partly thanks to help from Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini who promised to allocate the missing funds for this purpose, TASR learnt on Thursday.

“We have to set up a professional background and people who will provide help on the phone, but we estimate that in March 2019 we will relaunch the Wood Forget-Me-Not line,” said Martin Knut, the director of the League for Mental Health, which operates the crisis line named after the blue flower. People with mental health issues can call the Wood Forget-me-not line and talk to someone in confidence.

A total of €80,000 is needed for one-year of operation of the line. Representatives of the League for Mental Health managed to collect €25,000 during an autumn fundraising action. They finally asked the premier to provide the rest of the money. Pellegrini promised to earmark the missing money from the government reserve so that the crisis line service can be launched again.

“At the same time the prime minister asked Health Minister [Andrea Kalavska] to task the Health Ministry with seeking a systemic solution in the course of next year that would enable a long-term operation of the crisis line,” reads the League’s statement.

According to the League for Mental Health, the money provided by the premier isn’t a systemic solution, but it will give some time to find a way to resolve the issue in the future. “We’re very happy that the state via the prime minister has pointed to this acute issue. Around 500,000 people in Slovakia undergo mental illness treatment or are diagnosed with a mental disease every year,” said Knut, stressing the importance of the 24/7 crisis line. “It’s a prevention that can prevent many sad and tragic events,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, mental illnesses top the list of diseases that disqualify people from working.