Malaga council pioneers new service

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MALAGA council has created a pioneering service to prevent suicides.

The objective of the service is to detect and attend to people who are at risk.

Next September the social services department of Malaga council will begin its suicide prevention programme; it is the first of its sort in Spain.

The programme consists of a series of protocols to follow in order to identify, locate and try to help anyone at risk; the programme will also train social services workers in how to deal with depressed people.

The suicide rate in the capital is 10.7 out of 100,000 residents which puts the city in 10th place nationally. In 2012 there were 57 suicides in Malaga (39 men and 18 women) which is 7.9 per cent of the Andalucia total and 1.6 per cent of the national total.

A council spokesperson commented that the intention of the service is to lessen the rate rather than eradicate the phenomenon which they consider to be an unattainable goal.

The first step to be taken will be the opening of a free phone line so anyone in distress can call to speak to a professional who has been prepared to deal with that sort of situation.

Several local mental health associations have expressed their support for the service and offered to help in the training of the personnel.

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