This distinction from the European Commission’s EU Health Awards 2021 lends recognition to the Barcelona service launched in the summer of 2020 to prevent the rise in health problems resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 20,000-euro prize that has been awarded to boost this service is in recognition of the efforts made to implement this unique and pioneering project in the Spanish State, developed in collaboration with the Ajuda i Esperança Foundation.
The Suicide-Prevention Telephone helpline is one of the measures included under the Mental Health Plan for 2016-2022: a series of proposals launched in coordination with organisations and professionals in the sector that have positioned Barcelona as the first city in the Spanish State to have a specific plan for tackling this problem.
As for the award, Barcelona was chosen from among other finalists such as Ghent (Belgium), Metamorfosi (Greece) and Toulouse (France). It is the second distinction awarded by the European Commission this May, as Barcelona also received the title as one of the inclusion and diversity capitals of 2022.
Suicide-Prevention Telephone Helpline
The Suicide-Prevention Telephone Helpline (900 925 555) is a free service that operates non-stop, 24 hours a day, thanks to its specialist-trained volunteers. It involves, above all, a process of active listening and emotional support which, if an imminent or in-progress suicide attempt is detected, will activate the 061 or 112 service.
The helpline has received 6,500 calls since its launch, of which 181 dealt with imminent-risk or in-progress suicide attempts and 32% were from individuals under the age of 39. And, despite the service being municipal, close to 80% of the calls made to it came from outside Barcelona. For people between the ages of 15 and 44, suicide is currently the number-one cause of death in men and the second main cause of death in women.