Getting Help For Depression

Suicide Hotlines

Depression can happen to anyone at anytime. It is when depression turns to thoughts of harming oneself, that it is mandatory to seek help. Suicide hotlines can make the difference between life and death. They help thousands of depressed people each year. Every one and a half minutes, someone commits suicide in the United States.

Almost 100,000 people attempt this act. The sad this is that 90% of those who die, had psychiatric disorders that were treatable. That means sadly 90% of these deaths are preventable! Suicide is a response to hopelessness. It is what many people do when they feel there is no way out, and that things will never get better.

Crisis hotlines are manned by trained or paid staff, that offer assistance, counseling and outside resources for those who need someone to talk to. Many people will call a hotline, when they feel they cannot talk to anyone else.

There is something about an anonymous voice, that does not know you and will not judge you. This hub is a view from the crisis counselor's side of the phone. At the bottom, you will find a list of hotline phone numbers that might assist you. At the end of this article, I have listed hotline phone numbers you can call for immediate help!

Crisis Hotline
Crisis Hotline

Get the Facts

When someone calls a helpline, hopefully they will get a knowledgeable and caring person, who will listen carefully to get the facts while trying to pinpoint the type of help the person needs.

Counselors are not their to judge or but to allow the person to vent or get things off their chest. Once the caller has stopped talking, then the agent will gently move the caller to getting help.

Hopefully, through their conversation, you will discover, some of the main issues that need to be addressed, such as mental illness, losing a home, etc. Open ended questions, will help you determine what type of help the person needs. I can not stress how important it is to be a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. You will find some people will call just to talk. Be a good listener.

*Become a suicide hotline volunteer

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Establishing a Connection

When speaking to a caller, it is important to be able to connect with the caller on some level. You do not have to have experienced what they call has experience to connect with them. There is where you dig in deep and allow empathy to take place. You probable know someone in your past or present that has had the similar problems, allow that same compassion transfer to the caller.

Let them know that you heard what they are saying and are concerned about them. It is our humanity that gives us the ability to feel the pain of others. Let them know you are human, and not an indifferent voice on the other end of the line.

Crisis Hotlines

Don't take things Personal

Many people who call a crisis hotline are emotional. Allow people to express their feelings, without interrupting them. Expressing anger, crying or cursing, is a way the person is releasing pent-up emotions that have been held in a long time. Don't tell them to calm down or don't cry. Let the situation run its course until the person naturally calms down.

This behavior can be therapeutic. Once this negative energy is spent, they may be ready to talk to you calmly. When you are able to talk, ask leading questions, that will help bring out crucial information.

To be sure that you understand what is troubling, mirror or repeat back what the person has said and ask them is what you are saying correct. Now you can address they concerns without further frustrating the caller with misinformation.

Giving Hope

It is important to give people hope. No one can survive without hope! Hope is the possibility of things changing and seeing a bright new day.

This is where you can extend to those who have call the resource you have available to help their situation. If you cannot help them, make sure to refer them to someone who can.

You should familiarize yourself with the list of referrals you have been given and have them where can be easily found.

Prayer Helps

If the caller is a person of faith, offer to pray for them. Prayer can be a very powerful way of helping a hopeless person connect with someone greater than themselves. This is also a way of offering hope. It does not matter if you are not a religious, simple words of prayer can help someone who is. At this point you prayer is not based on your faith, but theirs.

Offer numbers where they can get religious counseling or help them connect with help, such as a visit from clergy of their faith.

When Threatening Suicide

When someone calls and tells you, they are going to kill themselves, take them very seriously. If the caller is a frequent caller, treat the threat as if it were the first time. Ask questions that will determine, if the person has a plan of action, like a gun, pills or a rope.

If you have a strong indication that the person is serious about killing themselves, try to keep them on the line, while you or someone else can call 911, to dispatch a police officer to their home. Do not feel bad for calling the authorities, you will be saving a life.

Becoming a Volunteer

Helping someone prevent suicide, is a rewarding way to help people, and an amazing way to give back to your community. These organizations are always looking for volunteers to help take calls. If you have ever been interested in becoming a phone volunteer, I encourage you to pursue it. This can be a very rewarding experience!

Choose the organization you are most passionate about and call to find out if they need part-time volunteers. They will train you completely on how to handle the situations you will encounter and provide you with a list of helpful resources to give callers. Good luck!

Crisis Helpline Phone Numbers

  • Domestic Violence Hotline and Resources: 1-800-799-7233 1-800-787-3224 (TDD)

  • Veteran's in Crisis: 1-800-273-82855

  • Alcohol and Drug Helpline: 1-800-821-4357

  • Child Abuse National Hotline: 1-800-252-2873

  • Child Abuse: To report call: 1-800-4-A-CHILD

  • Children in immediate risk or danger: 1-800-THE-LOST

  • Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-800-252-8966

  • SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends): 1-800-DONT-CUT, 1-800-366-8288

  • Youth Crisis Hotline: Referrals for runaways or youth in crisis: 1-800-448-4663

  • Child-Support Enforcement Hotline: 877-696-6775

  • Mortgage Payment Assistance: 800-750-8956

  • Debt Relief Hotline: 800- 291-1042

  • Upper Room Prayer Hotline: 1-800-251-2468

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Comments 6 comments

2besure profile image

2besure 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

always exploring, I am like you, always looking for ways to help and make things better.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Thank you. This is so important. We never know when we will need to know how to help someone in crisis....

2besure profile image

2besure 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Thanks Sundaymoments! Hope it can help someone.

2besure profile image

2besure 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Thanks for taking time to comment Dexter!

Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Hi 2besure. Thanks for sharing such great information on what to expect when calling a crisis hotline.

Sundaymoments profile image

Sundaymoments 4 years ago from United States

Great Hub and well needed information for the many people that are in a crises.


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