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 Manitoba, Canada, there are 9 helplines that support with a range of mental health or behavioral health concerns.
It may seem scary to call. Knowing what to expect can help you feel more confident to access the free support that is available to 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.
Whether you just need someone to listen to you, or you're looking for more practical advice, a helpline responder can support you in the way you need. They will commonly ask questions to help you process your emotions, and may help you form a plan so you can feel more in control.
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.
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 Manitoba, Canada, there are 9 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.