If you are struggling with your mental health or concerned about a loved one, consider contacting a helpline for quick and free support. 3 helplines and hotlines are available in Bristol, England.
If you have doubts about calling, that's normal. Learning more about helplines and what to expect can help you feel more confident to call.
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.
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 there for anyone who might be in need of free support for mental and behavioral health problems. If you are struggling with something specific, such as suicide, depression, anxiety, or domestic violence, there are often helplines that cater specifically to these issues. You may also be able to contact a helpline related to your demographic, such as helplines that are specifically for teenagers, veterans or the LGBTQ+ community. A lot of helplines provide support for a variety of mental and behavioral health issues, so you can talk with them about anything that is concerning you.
For help with thoughts about harming yourself or ending your life, you can contact a suicide prevention hotline, also known as a crisis line or lifeline. Suicide hotlines are available 24/7 in most countries. These crisis services commonly support with any problem you might be facing, so you can also call them if you aren't thinking about suicide.
Helplines aren't just for the times when you need support. They can also be helpful if you're worried about someone else. When you contact a helpline for advice about someone you care about, they will talk with you about how you might support the person. This might look like support resources that person is able to access, or behaviors or actions you can take to help their situation.
In Bristol, England, there are 3 hotlines and helplines that support with a range of topics.
The first helpline was set up in 1953. Today, there are over 2,000 helplines supporting with a wide variety of issues, experiences and demographics. Their shared desire to assist those going through emotional or mental distress binds them together. No matter what your problem is, talking to someone can help and helplines provide this vital service, for free.