Preventing suicide

Over the past few years, the number of suicides in the Netherlands has risen by between 3 and 6% annually. The government is taking steps to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts.

Rise in number of suicides

Over the past few years the number of suicides in the Netherlands and other European countries has been rising year on year. About half the suicides in the Netherlands are committed by people receiving mental health treatment.

Targeted reduction

Up to now the government has been trying to reduce the number of suicides by 5% annually. In practice, this has proved unrealistic. The Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport has therefore set a new target of at least 1% fewer per year. However, the minister will only introduce the new target once the current rise has been brought to a halt.

Measures to reduce number of suicides

The government is taking the following measures to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts:

  • The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is financing Stichting 113Online, an organisation that provides e-support and a helpline for suicidal people, close family and friends, or other involved parties. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is manned by trained volunteers.
  • Together with professionals in the field, the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport has drawn up a national agenda on suicide prevention for the period 2014 to 2017. The primary aim of the agenda is to slow down the current rise in the number of suicides.