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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case PT-2020-14/547 – measures in Portugal

Psychological counselling line - SNS 24

Linha de Aconselhamento Psicológico - SNS 24

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 April 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Well-being of workers
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS) and Eurofound
Case created 13 April 2020 (updated 04 May 2020)

Background information

The National Health Service (Serviço Nacional de Saúde - SNS) includes a phoneline (808 24 24 24) and a digital service -  SNS 24. It was created to support citizens in their health-related issues and provides for several services that allow solving problems with no need to displacement to the primary health care center or to the hospital.

Over the COVID-19 pandemic, the SNS 24 has been acting as the main referral system for suspect and confirmed cases of infection.

The launching of the Psychological councelling line - SNS 24 allows the SNS 24 to reinforce one of its missions, ensuring better access to health and greater efficiency in the use of resources,  giving support to citizens, notably in what regards dealing with isolation and the related mental health problems, in this critical moment.

Content of measure

The Psychological counselling line - SNS 24 was launched through a partnership between the Shared Services of the Minister of Health (Serviços Partilhados do Ministério da Saúde), the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Portuguese Psychologists Order (Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses), considering the priority assigned over this period to the citizen's mental health.

This Line counts with 63 new psychologists that provide for counselling either to health professionals, civil protection and security forces, or to the general population.

This new service has the following purposes: * To support a better management of emotions such as stress, distress, anxiety, fear. * To promote psychological resilience. * To reinforce the safety feeling of the population and of the carers, making the referral to emergent support organisations whenever needed.   In its initial stage of operation, this project will be monitored by a committee that will optimize the integration and articulation with the mental health services network.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, within the scope of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund, contributed with an amount of €300,000.

The Portuguese Psychologists Order gave its contribution in the conception and design of the line, the training of the professionals and the clinical supervision of the service.

Use of measure

Not available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

Not available.



Eurofound (2020), Psychological counselling line - SNS 24, case PT-2020-14/547 (measures in Portugal), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.