If you are struggling with your mental health or concerned about a loved one, consider contacting a helpline for quick and free support. 12 helplines and hotlines are available in Iowa, United States.
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.
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.
The people on the other end of a helpline or hotline are often counselors or volunteers who are trained in crisis counseling and active listening, and can offer you a safe space to talk freely about what's bothering you. Some helplines are staffed by peers who have some personal experience in the issue the helpline supports 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.
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 Iowa, United States, there are 12 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.