Whether you're experiencing a mental health crisis or you're worried about a loved one's mental health, free help is available to you. In Ontario, Canada, there are 28 helplines that support with a range of mental health or behavioral health concerns.
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.
A helpline – also called a hotline or crisis line – is a free counseling service where you can talk to a person for emotional support. The support offered is free and confidential and in some cases, available 24/7. Depending on the helpline, support may be offered over the phone, 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.
Helplines are usually staffed by counselors and volunteers who are trained in how to support people in an emotional crisis. Some helplines are also run by peers who have a similar life experience to the topic they provide support with.
Helplines are crisis services that offer free support for a range of behavioral and mental health problems. There are helplines that are tailored to people experiencing particular types of emotional pain or crisis, such as suicide, depression, anxiety, abuse, and domestic violence. Others support particular demographics such as youth, children, veterans or the LGBTQ+ community. There are also helplines that will support you no matter what mental or behavioral health issues you may be experiencing.
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.
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 Ontario, Canada, there are 28 hotlines and helplines that support with a range of topics.
The first helpline was founded in 1953. Today, there are over 2,000 globally. While there is a wide variety in the types of topics or populations helplines support today, they are united by a common thread: to help those who are experiencing emotional distress or crisis to find a meaningful path ahead. Whether it's you who needs support, or whether you have questions about a loved one who is showing warning signs of distress, calling a helpline can help you get the support you need and deserve.