If you're looking for free and quick mental health support, helplines can be a great option. In China, free crisis counseling support is available from 21 hotlines and helplines.
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.
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.
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.
Yes. You can get in touch with a helpline if you're concerned about a loved one and don't know how to help. The helpline responder will talk with you about ways you can support the person you care about, including any available support networks and any actions or behaviours you can do to help them.
In China, there are 21 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.