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 Sweden, there are 19 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.
Helplines offer immediate mental health support to the public for free. When you contact a helpline, you will receive confidential counseling support either over the phone, text message or online chat. In some countries, helplines are also known as hotlines or crisis lines.
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.
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 offer free support to people who are experiencing mental health problems or an emotional crisis. Some helplines offer support for specific problems, such as suicide, domestic violence, abuse, anxiety, and depression, while others support particular types of people such as teenagers, children, the LGBTQ+ community or veterans. Some helplines support with any topic or issue, so you can talk to them about whatever you're going through.
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 Sweden, there are 19 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.