Frequently asked questions

Here we try to answer questions concerning The Red Cross Helpline 1717.

What are the opening hours of 1717?
1717 is open all year around, 24/7.

 Who answers the calls and chats at 1717?
Volunteers answer them for the most part along with a few staff members, all of whom have undergone extensive training from specialists regarding matters relevant to the job.

 What services does 1717 provide?
Volunteers provide active listening, psychological support and information about relevant resources in Iceland to everyone who contacts the helpline.

 Is it free to contact 1717?
Yes, and you don't need credit on your phone either. To contact the webchat, an internet connection is all that is needed.

Is it okay to contact 1717 about whatever?
Yes, no problem is either too big or too small for 1717 and all issues are relevant.

Does 1717 get many calls and chats?
Each year, the helpline receives around 15 thousand contacts. Around 12 thousand of those are by phone and 3000 through the webchat.

If I contact 1717, is it anonymous and confidential?
Yes, all volunteers and staff members have signed a confidentiality agreement. Exceptions to the confidentiality, which rarely occurs, are when e.g. a child under the age of 18 is being abused, at which point our volunteers are legally obligated to contact child services. However, the volunteer will explain why it´s neccessary to do that.

What is the nature of the calls and chats?
It's differs a great deal but the most common issues have to do with psychological issues, social related issues and sexual identity and health.

Do the volunteers get any help if they feel down or have a hard time emotionally after working at 1717?
Yes, all volunteers have access to a psychologist employed by the Red Cross. Furthermore, regular group session are held where volunteers can sit down and discuss how they are feeling and work through them. This is done with a psychologist present.

 Where are you located in Iceland?
We have two locations in Iceland but due to the confidentiality we cannot disclose where they are

Are the phone calls recorded?
No, to protect and uphold the confidentiality and anonymity we never record phone calls or write down any personal information unless the one who contacts specifically requests immediate assistance e.g. from an ambulance.

 What is the age limit to become a volunteer for 1717?
23 years old

How can I become a volunteer?
By following this link.