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If you're looking for free and quick mental health support, helplines can be a great option. In Australia, free crisis counseling support is available from 25 hotlines and helplines.
It’s normal to feel nervous about making the call. Learn here about what to expect.
Helplines, also known as hotlines or crisis lines, exist to provide free, confidential help to anyone in need of emotional support. Some helplines offer their services over the phone, and others over text message or chat. Many are available 24/7.
Whether you need a listening ear, or help with what to do next, helpline staff can help. They will ask you questions to help you process your emotions or situation. They can also collaborate with you on what steps you might take to improve your situation, which can help you feel more in control and confident about the future.
When you call a helpline, you'll connect with a volunteer or counselor, or sometimes with a peer with similar experience to the topic of the helpline. They are often trained and experienced in active listening or crisis counseling. This means they know how to help people in your situation.
Helplines offer free support to people who are experiencing mental health problems or an emotional crisis. Some helplines offer support for specific problems, such as suicide, domestic violence, abuse, anxiety, and depression, while others support particular types of people such as teenagers, children, the LGBTQ+ community or veterans. Some helplines support with any topic or issue, so you can talk to them about whatever you're going through.
In most countries, there is access to a suicide hotline number that you can call if you're having thoughts about wanting to die or ending your life. Suicide hotlines, often called lifelines or crisis lines, are usually accessible 24/7. Many suicide hotlines also support with all topics.
Helplines aren't just for the times when you need support. They can also be helpful if you're worried about someone else. When you contact a helpline for advice about someone you care about, they will talk with you about how you might support the person. This might look like support resources that person is able to access, or behaviors or actions you can take to help their situation.
In Australia, there are 25 hotlines and helplines that support with a range of topics.
Today, there are over 2,000 helplines globally. Helplines offer support for a wide range of experiences and populations, but they all share the same objective: to assist people who are going through emotional pain or mental health struggles. You may think that your problem isn't significant enough, or that it's too much. These concerns are normal. Helpline responders are prepared to help no matter what you're going through.