Russian child helpline takes more suicidal calls each year
Child helpline takes more suicidal calls every year
In recent years adolescents from ‘death groups’ have begun to appeal for help from psychologists.
Problems with relationships, friendships and rejection by peers, first required and unrequited love, exam stress, and misunderstandings with parents are the main topics of calls to the child helpline (8-800-200-01-22). In April 2017 the service, which has been operating for six years, recorded its seven millionth call.
Around 60% of all calls are from children and adolescents wanting to discuss various personal problems with a specialist. Helpline operators note the increasing numbers of suicidal calls. In 2012 there were 4110 such calls, which grew to 4926 the following year, 5820 in 2014 and 6816 by 2015. In 2016, 7840 people called saying they were about to commit suicide. Increasing numbers of calls are linked to the so-called ‘death groups’ on social media.
Experts believe that the more children find out about the work of the service, the more often trouble can be prevented. And on 17 May – International Child Helpline Day, a six hour teleconference called Let’s Trust Together! will be held for teenagers and parents. It will be broadcast across Russia on YouTube, the social network VKontakte, and the helpline’s website. And 11 Russian cities will be able to interact live with the central studio and ask questions.
Psychologists, famous musician, artists, sportsmen and bloggers will be present in the Moscow studio. They are all ready to answer questions from listeners and describe how they solved their own mental health problems. Anyone wishing to choose guests to be invited to the teleconference can do so via the website telefon-doveria.ru.
The national child helpline was launched in 2010. The organiser of the free service is the Foundation for the Support of Children in Difficulties. In all Russian regions specialists provide qualified psychological assistance. All calls from mobiles or fixed lines are anonymous, and no caller ID of conversations are recorded.