Credit: Freepik

Helpline For Sexual and Gender Health Established In The Czech Republic

A National Helpline for Sexual and Gender Health is being established in the Czech Republic, offering the opportunity to talk confidentially and get a referral to consult a therapist or doctor, Jan Cervenka, spokesperson for the National Institute of Mental Health (NUDZ), told journalists today.

The helpline will operate within the framework of the SexHelp line launched last year. The service is free, anonymous, and is also available to loved ones and professionals who want guidance on sexual health issues.

The SexHelp line initially focused on sexual preferences and problematic sexual behaviour, and is now consulting on sexual orientation and gender identity. Services for ​sexual dysfunctions or addictive sexual behaviour will be added later this year.

“This is a unique concept that builds on good practice from both home and abroad, and the interest shown already is equal to similar lines operating abroad, even with only minimal promotion,” explained Katerina Klapilova, the guarantor of the new line and head of the Centre for Sexual Health and Interventions at NUDZ.

The line is staffed by trained crisis consultants and will provide intervention, information and support, especially in the impact of sexuality on people’s health. This will include anxiety-depression syndromes, suicidal ideation, coming out, experiences of bullying or discrimination, and treatment options in the health care system.

“On the helpline we create a safe environment where people can talk openly about their emotions and issues around their sexuality and identity,”  added Klapilova. “Thanks to our training in these areas, we can not only provide the information and support needed, but more importantly ask questions sensitively, which often makes the conversation easier for clients. We are often the first person they talk to about their sexuality issues or insecurities; a safe space for this area has been lacking in the Czech Republic.”

In addition, there will be opportunities for transgender and gender diverse clients to consult on gender identity issues, and information will be provided on accessing hormone treatment and on transitioning, the process by which trans people begin to live under their true gender.

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