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If you're looking for mental health support, or you're worried that a loved one could be having a mental health crisis, contacting a hotline or helpline can help. There are 21 crisis services you can contact in China.
If you have doubts about calling, that's normal. Learning more about helplines and what to expect can help you feel more confident to call.
Helplines, otherwise known as hotlines or crisis lines, offer free, confidential counseling support to people in emotional pain. Some offer support over the phone, and others over text message or online chat.
Helpline responders will actively listen to you while also asking questions to help you process difficult emotions and situations. When you call a hotline, you can expect to be listened to without judgment. If you like, you can also talk through or receive guidance on what steps you can take next.
Helpline responders are often volunteers or counselors. They might also be peers who have had a similar life experience to the issue the helpline supports with. They are commonly trained in active listening and crisis counseling.
Helplines are there for anyone who might be in need of free support for mental and behavioral health problems. If you are struggling with something specific, such as suicide, depression, anxiety, or domestic violence, there are often helplines that cater specifically to these issues. You may also be able to contact a helpline related to your demographic, such as helplines that are specifically for teenagers, veterans or the LGBTQ+ community. A lot of helplines provide support for a variety of mental and behavioral health issues, so you can talk with them about anything that is concerning you.
Suicide prevention hotlines or lifelines are available in many countries. They exist to provide compassionate support to people who are feeling hopeless or are thinking of ending their lives. Suicide hotlines commonly support with all topics, which means they can help with any kind of problem, even if it's not suicide related. They are usually reachable at all hours of the day and night.
It can be worrying when a friend or family member is struggling with their mental health or experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Helplines will support you to better help your loved one, whether that is actions you could take to support them, or external support they might be able to access.
In China, there are 21 hotlines and helplines that support with a range of topics.
The first helpline was set up in 1953. Today, there are over 2,000 helplines supporting with a wide variety of issues, experiences and demographics. Their shared desire to assist those going through emotional or mental distress binds them together. No matter what your problem is, talking to someone can help and helplines provide this vital service, for free.