Suicide is a difficult and complex situation to deal with. However, according to experts, it can be prevented. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that much can be done to prevent suicides. This is exactly why services like suicide prevention hotlines exist. The idea is to provide people with suicidal tendencies, or provide a safe space for their relatives to seek immediate help.
However, not many people realize what happens when you call a suicide hotline. Any misconception or ambiguity about them can prevent people from answering the call and seeking help. That’s why we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on what happens when you call the suicide hotline number.
However, before moving forward, always keep in mind that everyone who calls the suicide hotline will have slightly different conversations. The conversation may also depend on your choice of hotline and preferred method of communication. For now, we’ll talk about The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hot line.
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A step-by-step guide to what happens when you call the suicide hotline
1. For the basics: The services offered by Lifeline are free and confidential.
Calls are always anonymous and never written. You don’t have to be in tough situations to ask for support. You can also call in to receive emotional support. Lifeline may also be used if someone you know is at risk of suicide.
If the situation is very critical, emergency services are used. However, this mostly happens with the support of the individual involved. There are also some cases where crisis workers have to break a code of confidentiality in order to save lives.
2. After dialing the number, you will hear an automated message.
Immediately after you dial the Lifeline number, you will hear an automated welcome message. The person does not come to the other end of the line right away. You’ll also get several options for translating the call into Spanish or additional options for help, especially for veterans.
3. The call is then transferred to the local crisis center.
According to official statistics from Lifeline, 85% of calls are answered within 30 seconds of the automated message. However, this wait may be long or short, depending on the resources of the crisis center.
Lifeline consists of a total of 161 crisis centers across America. The staff consists of paid employees and volunteers. A backup center also works if your local crisis center gets full of calls or if your community doesn’t have one.
4. A trained counselor will answer you on your phone.
Finally, a trained staff member will answer your phone from a crisis center. You can start the conversation however you want. The call can last as long as you need it. You can discuss issues that were bothering you.
Crisis center workers do not follow the scenario. This is why conversations can be open. Their ultimate goal is to make you feel safe. In the event that you are contacting someone you know, who is at risk of suicide, the employee will guide you to the option available for the welfare of your loved one.
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We hope that you will have an idea of what happens when you call the suicide hotline. Now that you know the process, he may be able to give you another reason to actively seek help.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline recently launched the new 988 hotline. To learn more about it, click over here.
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