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 Gambia, there are 1 helplines that support with a range of mental health or behavioral health concerns.
It's common to feel some anxiety about contacting a helpline. Learn more about what helplines offer so you can decide if it's right for 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 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.
Helplines are usually staffed by counselors and volunteers who are trained in how to support people in an emotional crisis. Some helplines are also run by peers who have a similar life experience to the topic they provide support with.
Some helplines support with specific issues, such as suicide, depression, anxiety, and abuse. Others support with specific demographics, such as the LGBTQ+ community, veterans or young people. So if you're looking for tailored support, you might be able to find a hotline specific to your problem. There are also helplines that support with any problem that’s causing you distress – no matter how small or big it seems to you.
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 Gambia, there are 1 hotlines and helplines that support with a range of topics.
Today, there are over 2,000 helplines and hotlines across the world. While they may support different topics and populations, each and every one of them share the same goal: to help those experiencing emotional or mental distress to get through the current pain and find a meaningful path forward. When you feel alone, hopeless or stuck, having a conversation on a helpline can help you feel heard, supported and empowered.