Suicide prevention via the internet and the telephone: 113Online
background 113Online is a combination of a website and a telephone help-line for suicidal persons, their relatives and bereaved next of kin. The services it provides include crisis intervention, self-tests and brief psychotherapy.
aim To discover whether 113Online can in fact prevent suicidal behaviour – since it has now been in operation for more than a year.
method We were able to obtain information about the visitors of the website, check on the usage of services provided by 113Online and study the results of the self-tests.
results The results for the first year indicated that there was a great need for anonymous online help for persons contemplating suicide. Scores for the self-tests showed that the website was visited by severely suicidal persons. It is surprising that so few of the users thereafter sought assistance from the conventional mental health care services.
conclusion The 113Online seems to be a promising approach to suicide prevention. The online assistance reaches its target population and seems to fulfil needs that are not being met by the regular health care services.