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 11 crisis services you can contact in British Columbia, 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.
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.
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.
If you've had thoughts about harming yourself or even ending your life, there are suicide prevention hotlines that can help. These helplines, otherwise known as lifelines or crisis lines, are typically available to offer support 24/7. Most suicide hotlines also support with any topic that is on your mind, which means you don't have to be suicidal to contact them.
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 British Columbia, Canada, there are 11 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.