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 Victoria, Australia, there are 4 helplines that support with a range of mental health or behavioral health concerns.
Feeling hesitant to reach out is completely normal. Knowing what to expect can help you feel more comfortable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Victoria, Australia, 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.