South African Federation For Mental Health Helpline provides free, compassionate and confidential support by phone. We help...
Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline offers 24/7, free and confidential support by phone and...
It can be difficult to know where to turn when you're struggling with your mental health. Whether you're going through a tough time, or you're concerned about a loved one, you can turn to a helpline or hotline for crisis counseling support. 12 helplines are available in South Africa to help you.
Feeling hesitant to reach out is completely normal. Knowing what to expect can help you feel more comfortable.
Helplines, otherwise known as hotlines or crisis lines, offer free, confidential counseling support to people in emotional pain. Some offer support over the phone, and others over text message or online chat.
Helpline responders support you by listening to you, helping you understand your emotions better, and working with you on a plan forward. Having a plan about what to do next can help you feel more in control.
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 South Africa, there are 12 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.