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It can be difficult to know where to turn when you're struggling with your mental health. Whether you're going through a tough time, or you're concerned about a loved one, you can turn to a helpline or hotline for crisis counseling support. 19 helplines are available in Alberta, Canada to help you.
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.
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.
Some helplines offer support for specific problems like suicide, depression, anxiety, domestic violence and sexual assault. Others help with certain demographics, such as veterans, youth or the LGBTQ+ community. Many helplines offer support for all kinds of mental and behavioral health problems – this means you can talk to them about anything that is on your mind.
Most countries have a suicide hotline or suicide prevention line (often called a lifeline or crisis line) available 24/7. These helplines provide compassionate support for people who might be having feelings of wanting to die or kill themselves. Commonly, suicide hotlines will also support anyone, regardless of what they are going through.
Yes. If you are concerned about someone you care about, you can contact a helpline for advice and support. The helpline representative will discuss possible ways for you to support the person, such as support systems the person can use, as well as behaviors or steps you can do to help.
In Alberta, Canada, there are 19 hotlines and helplines that support with a range of topics.
Globally, there are over 2,000 helplines and hotlines, and the support they offer varies across topics and populations. What unites them is their shared aim to support people who are experiencing mental health distress or emotional pain. Helplines are there to assist you in a time of emotional pain, and to support those who may be noticing warning signs of an emotional crisis in those they care about.