Worldwide every year 800,000 to 1.2 million people commit suicide. In the Netherlands, with a population of over 17 million, more than 1,800 people die by suicide every year and 94,000 people with suicidal thoughts attempt to take their lives. Despite these high rates and the damage it does to those involved and to society, talking about suicide is still considered a taboo. People with suicidal thoughts often feel isolated. This is partly, because the health care professionals they visit are unable to address the issues of despair and suicidality. In order to promote suicide prevention in healthcare and beyond, 113 provides a range of online services. These services can be used anonymously and free of charge 24/7. This allows people with suicidal thoughts find or regain hope, get help and find adaptive ways to cope with despair and psychological pain. In addition, 113 aims at empowering, teaching and training health care professionals, gatekeepers throughout society, relatives and friends in order for them to overcome their reluctance to address suicidal thoughts and behaviour for those in need.
Who we are
113 Suicide Prevention is the national Dutch suicide prevention centre, financed mainly by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (Ministerie van VWS). Our organization has been active as an independent care provider since September 2009. We employ psychologists and psychiatrists and a large group of fully trained volunteers who allow us provide round-the-clock confidential support through chats and phone calls. 113 works in close cooperation with the mental health institutes' crisis centres. Together, these professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across the Netherlands for crisis dialogues and psychological treatments.
Mental health services
Our mental health services include:
- Crisis chat (a direct opportunity to talk online to a trained volunteer)
- Crisis telephone (a direct opportunity to talk to a trained volunteer by phone and, if necessary, to a professional)
- Chat therapy (a maximum of 8 online chat dialogues with a professional)
- Self-help course (an independent online course aimed at reducing suicidal tendencies)
- Self-tests (questionnaires to fill in and to offer an indication of the severity of your troubles and symptoms (an anxiety and depression test and a test that measures suicidal tendencies)
- Consultation by telephone for other professionals, next of kin or friends about somebody in need (the opportunity to pose a brief question to a professional in a session lasting a maximum of ten minutes)
In addition, we support clients with our training services aimed at both professionals working in mental health care (GGZ professionals) and people who are facing suicide in their professional practice or personal environment. The PITSTOP training programme has been developed for GGZ Professionals as a guide to the implementation of the multidisciplinary guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of suicidal behaviour (MDR Diagnostiek en behandeling van suïcidaal gedrag). In our gatekeepers' training programme our clients learn how to identify signs of suicidal thoughts, to address those and how to refer to professional help.
Center of expertise
Besides our mental health services, 113 acts as a change agent and centre of expertise: it leads the National Suicide Prevention Agenda (Landelijke Agenda Suïcide Preventie) and establishes Suicide Prevention Action NETworks (SUPRANET Care, SUPRAnEt Community). Activities in these domains include:
- The development and dissemination of training opportunities for medical staff, other professionals and gatekeepers in society;
- Tracking the implementation and sharing of evidence-based best practice of suicide prevention within large healthcare institutions, using standardized monitoring instruments and methods;
- Implementation of multilevel multimodal suicide prevention measures in 8 regions, reaching 2.5 million inhabitants, in line with the European Alliance Against Depression (Optimizing Suicide Prevention Interventions OSPI);
- Data-driven quality and safety improvement projects in a network currently numbering 14 mental health hospitals.
113 has a strong international orientation through participation in the European Alliance Against Suicide and our role in the International Zero Suicide Movement.
We are continuously developing our work by researching the effectiveness and reach of our menthal health services together with our partners, the VU University of Amsterdam and the mental health institution GGZ inGeest. Together we have initiated SURE-NL, a scientific consortium aimed at lifesaving suicide research. 113 has been invited to contribute to major scientific conferences worldwide (Rome, Beijing, Tel Aviv, Boston, Atlanta, London and Ghent).