Mental health charity expands its helpline service

Mieli has been receiving a record number of calls and hasn't had the capacity this year - especially in the summer - to answer most of the calls.

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File picture of retro phone / Credit: iStock

The Mental Health Finland organisation Mieli is expanding the opening hours of its crisis phone service due to an increase in call volumes.

Mieli says it will make the service available 24/7 on weekdays, and then extend to weekends as well later in the spring.

The organisation reports that 2019 has been a busy year for its services and in the autumn the lines were often congested.

By the end of November more than 189,000 calls had been made to the phone line, compared to just 162,000 for the whole of 2018.

During the Christmas season, which can be stressful and problematic for many people, the crisis phone line is available all day and all night, and anyone can call.

Busy summer season meant calls went unanswered

Already this summer Mieli received a record number of calls, but in July most of those calls went unanswered.

The service got 23,000 calls, the highest monthly total in 49 years.

“During the summer holidays, especially in July, we get considerably more calls that at any other time” explained Susanna Winter from Mieli in the summer.

“Many other service providers are closed or only open during limited times in the summer, but our crisis line is open every day of the year, and in the middle of the night.” she said.

The most common topics for discussion in the summer were interpersonal issues, and people looking for help with problems related to exhaustion, studying and working life.

The Mieli helpline offers advice in several languages to callers on: 09 2525 0111.