Helpline 1717 and chat 1717.is
The Helpline is always open and free, full confidentiality promised.
No issue is too big or small for the helpline. Annually we receive about 15.000 contacts that are as diverse as they are many. Our volunteers are professionally trained, well-experienced and of all ages.
- Always open - 24/7
- Toll-free from any number
- Confidentiality – anonymity – neutrality
- Available for those in need of assistance
Examples of issues that we receive are:
- loneliness, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self-harm
- eating disorders, mental disorders, grief and trauma
- finance, educational difficulties, housing problems, unemployment
- relationship and communications difficulties, stigma, bullying,
- health issues, addiction
- sexual, mental and physical abuse
- child protection
- sex, contraception, STDs
This list is however not exhaustive and the helpline can be contacted for all kinds of reasons: for psychological support, counseling, active listening and information on resources available in Icelandic society.
The helpline is also available via our online chat. When connecting to the chat, we ask for a name and an e-mail address. Keep in mind that you do not have to provide your right name or e-mail.
Complete confidentiality and anonymity is promised. If you do not receive an answer soon after you have been connected, it´s because our chat is busy at the moment and we ask you to wait for the next available counselor. If you, for some reasons, cannot wait for the next available counselor, you can always leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible within the next 24-hours.
About Red Cross Helpline 1717
About 95 volunteers answer the Red Cross Helpline 1717. Each volunteer receives extensive training and courses before becoming a volunteer. Volunteers are then offered guidance and seminars on issues relating to the helpline. The Helpline´s main role is to provide active listening and advice on community resources for people of all ages in need. The helpline also provides psychological support and counseling for those who feel betrayed online. Our role is therefore very broad in the sense of being available for those who seek confidential and neutral assistance. There is thus no contact irrelevant to the Helpline.
The Red Cross Helpline 1717 collaborates with various institutions and organizations, both local and international, including The Directorate of Health, The 112 National Emergency Number, The Icelandic Mental Health Alliance, Save the Children and Home and School.
The Helpline is a partner of the Child Helpline International (CHI) and the Safer Internet Program, Insafe and INHOPE to deliver a safer and better internet. The helpline also plays the role of a professional counselor in the project “Volunteerism? – I´m Game!” which is operated by the Regional Voluntary Center in Katowice. The aim of the project is to develop and improve volunteerism in Polish schools.
The helpline plays a big role in cases of disaster such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions when evacuation is needed. The role of the Helpline is mainly to provide information to victims and relatives in such disasters.
Do you want to be a volunteer?
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Red Cross Helpline 1717 and are over 23 years old, you can apply here and a Red Cross representative will contact you as soon as possible.
It's open 24/7 everyday, all year round.
Well trained volunteers answer the phone and the chat.
Volunteers provide psychosocial support, active listening and guidance on various referrals in Iceland.
Yes, and no credit on your phone is required to call either.
Yes, no issue is too big or small.
Every year we have a round 15.000 matters.
Yes, everyone who works in 1717 sign a confidentiality statement. The only exception being matters involving children that should be reported to CPS, that is according to Icelandic Laws.
Yes, all volunteers have access to a psychologist and counselling sessions.
Sometimes there are a lot of calls and chats in the queue. We try to answer everybody but if you cannot reach us please hold or try again. In emergencies please call 112 or Pieta, 552-2218 if the matter relates to suicidal thoughts.
You can call for free at +354 580 1710, same rules apply about confidentiality.
2020 in numbers
Report to Save the children hotline
Here you can report illegal or inappropriate content on the internet regarding children and minors under 18. All reports are handled in accordance with GDPR laws and regulations.
About the project
All volunteers go through extensive training before starting work. During their time as a volunteer they also receive various educational opportunities relating to the project.
In the Helpline, we work closely with different organizations and institutions both domestically and internationally, f.ex. 112, Geðhjálp, Save the children, Directorate of Health, Ministry of Health and more.
The Helpline is also a partner in the international helpline organization CHI (Child Helpline International) as well as SAFT (Samfélag, fjölskylda og tækni) and Regional Voluntary Center in Katowice, Poland.