Calling a help line
Sometimes advice from your friends just isn’t enough. We all have times and issues when it is important to talk with someone who has experience in helping people work through their problems, or someone who’s outside the situation. Sometimes, when things are really tough, you’ll feel a strong need to talk to someone urgently- and there are many ways to do that.
Your Life Your Voice: 1-800-448-3000
Your Life Your Voice is run by Boys Town (for everyone) and is a help line open 24/7 where you can speak to trained counselors. You can talk with them over the phone, online chat, email or text.
They take calls from all 50 states, Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada. It’s free and it’s confidential unless the person who takes your call believes you’re at risk of hurting yourself or others. They will email people in need internationally.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Lifeline is a national suicide prevention hotline that provides 24-hour telephone crisis counseling, information and referrals through a network of more than 130 crisis centers nationwide. Your call to Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK is free and everything you talk to a crisis worker about is confidential. Para obtener asistencia en español durante las 24 horas, llame al 1-888-628-9454.
People call Lifeline to talk about everything from substance abuse issues to relationship problems. You can also call Lifeline if you’re having suicidal thoughts or if you’re worried about a friend or loved one who is depressed. A Lifeline volunteer can provide you with information on suicide warning signs. They can also provide information on other mental health resources in your community, like support groups and crisis outreach teams.
Lifeline also has a special hotline for military veterans and family members of veterans in crisis. The Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK and pressing “1.” Your call will then be routed to a VA mental health professional.
Feel nervous about calling a helpline?
It’s understandable to feel nervous or anxious before calling a helpline - to learn more about what you can expect, read the what to expect when calling a helpline fact sheet.
Special thanks to Amanda Lehner at Lifeline & Ginny Gohr at Your Life Your Voice/Boystown for their help.
Last edited LC, Feb 2014.