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Helpline reduced police officer suicide rate to zero

Featured Helpline reduced police officer suicide rate to zero

A 24-hour telephone helpline for police officers introduced two years ago has reduced their suicides to zero in 2018, chief Manolis Koufakis said on Thursday, during a special event at the Hellenic Police headquarters and in the presence of Minister of Citizen Protection Olga Gerovassili, Deputy Minister Katerina-Papakosta Sidiropoulou, the ministry's Secretary General of Public Order Dimitris Anagnostakis and other officials.

Koufakis said that there were no recorded suicides among police men and women in 2018, compared to the total of 67 suicides over the last twenty years and 44 since 2007, which coincided with the onset of the financial crisis. He attributed the 2018 change to the effectiveness of the helpline.

The line received some 711 calls in 2017 from police officers who needed psychological support, 833 in 2018 and 160 so far in 2019. Most of these calls came from active police officers and a small number from retired officers.
From the total 1,544 calls in both 2017 and 2018, 831 were by women, 542 by men and 171 callers declined to voice their problem.

So far at least 30,000 police officers have had psychiatric evaluation, of which 700 have had their weapons rescinded and are retraining to staff other police services.

According to the results presented, top in the list of voiced issues were family matters, followed by general stress, third were issues relating to grievances over the loss of family and friends and finally love matters and emotional issues.