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 4 crisis services you can contact in Quebec, Canada.
It's common to feel some anxiety about contacting a helpline. Learn more about what helplines offer so you can decide if it's right for you.
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.
Helplines provide a judgment-free space for you to talk, unpack your burdens and receive support. Their support may take the form of active listening, help processing emotions, and working with you to determine meaningful next steps.
The people on the other end of a helpline or hotline are often counselors or volunteers who are trained in crisis counseling and active listening, and can offer you a safe space to talk freely about what's bothering you. Some helplines are staffed by peers who have some personal experience in the issue the helpline supports with.
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.
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 Quebec, Canada, there are 4 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.