Another death following confusion over suicide prevention hotline

The service allows people to report malpractice anonymously.

A second person has committed suicide after trying to dial a non-existent helpline, the Volkskrant said on Thursday.

A 61-year-old man from Beverwijk tried at least four times to telephone variants on 113 – which is advertised as the suicide prevention service – but the actual number is 0900-0113, the paper said.

People are probably confused because the emergency number is 112, the paper said.

Last month a 26-year-old woman from Winschoten had also tried to ring 113 for help several times, before killing herself.

The volunteer-run service 113 Zelfmoordpreventie deals with some 200 calls and online chats a day. A spokesman told the Volkskrant it has asked the health ministry repeatedly to change the number.

Ministers have said they want to change the helpline number to 113 as soon as possible, but ‘much depends on technology and manpower’. They hope to have 113 set up by the end of the year. In the meantime, people dialing 113 will hear a message telling them the correct number to ring, the paper said.

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