If you are struggling with your mental health or concerned about a loved one, consider contacting a helpline for quick and free support. 4 helplines and hotlines are available in Kenya.
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.
Helpline responders support you by listening to you, helping you understand your emotions better, and working with you on a plan forward. Having a plan about what to do next can help you feel more in control.
Helpline responders are often volunteers or counselors. They might also be peers who have had a similar life experience to the issue the helpline supports with. They are commonly trained in active listening and crisis counseling.
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.
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.
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 Kenya, there are 4 hotlines and helplines that support with a range of topics.
Today, there are over 2,000 helplines globally. Helplines offer support for a wide range of experiences and populations, but they all share the same objective: to assist people who are going through emotional pain or mental health struggles. You may think that your problem isn't significant enough, or that it's too much. These concerns are normal. Helpline responders are prepared to help no matter what you're going through.