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If you're looking for free and quick mental health support, helplines can be a great option. In United Kingdom, free crisis counseling support is available from 85 hotlines and helplines.
It’s normal to feel nervous about making the call. Learn here about what to expect.
A helpline is a free, confidential counseling service available to anyone experiencing difficulties in their mental health, or worried about the mental health of someone they know. They are sometimes known as crisis lines or hotlines, and offer support over the phone, text message or chat. Some are available 24/7.
Helpline responders will actively listen to you while also asking questions to help you process difficult emotions and situations. When you call a hotline, you can expect to be listened to without judgment. If you like, you can also talk through or receive guidance on what steps you can take next.
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.
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.
Suicide prevention hotlines or lifelines are available in many countries. They exist to provide compassionate support to people who are feeling hopeless or are thinking of ending their lives. Suicide hotlines commonly support with all topics, which means they can help with any kind of problem, even if it's not suicide related. They are usually reachable at all hours of the day and night.
When a friend or family member is going through a mental health crisis, it can be difficult to know how to help. Helplines will offer advice on how you can best support your loved one, whether that be through ways you can support them or outside support they may be able to get.
In United Kingdom, there are 85 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.