Who should call?
Anyone. People call us if they’re having thoughts of suicide, worried about a friend or family member, reeling from a recent break up or disappointment, and many other reasons. No problem is too big, and certainly none is too small. If you’re thinking about talking to us, we want you to reach out.
What can I expect?
Phone: Call 988 and you’ll be connected to a trained crisis counselor near you. They will listen, help you explore your feelings, work with you to create a safety plan if you think it would be helpful, and connect you with resources as needed.
Chat: Go to 988lifeline.org/chat and click “Chat Now.” You will fill out a survey that helps us learn more about you and how you’re feeling. You will be connected with a trained crisis counselor in a private chat where they will listen, help you explore your feelings, work with you to create a safety plan if you think it would be helpful, and connect you with resources as needed. After you’ve completed the chat session, there is a follow-up survey that gives us important data to measure our counselors’ effectiveness.
Text: Text anything to 988. A trained crisis counselor will text you back and listen, help you explore your feelings, work with you to create a safety plan if you think it would be helpful, and connect you with resources as needed.
Who will answer?
You will be connected with a trained crisis helpline counselor. Our volunteers and staff members go through an extensive training program that culminates in a two-day, 16-hour Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. Volunteers are always supervised by paid staff members.
Do you call 911?
Our goal is to keep you safe from suicide. Our crisis helpline counselors are trained to conduct suicide interventions including safety planning and means reduction. Most of the time, the person who is having thoughts of suicide is feeling better after talking to us and has a plan to keep safe for now. Sometimes, we feel that the person is unable to keep themselves safe and they are at imminent risk of death or injury. In those rare cases, we will work with the person to determine what needs to be done to keep them safe. If it is determined that 911 should be called, a staff member will make that call while the crisis helpline counselor continues to speak with the individual.
Is our conversation confidential?
Yes. Call, chat, or text conversations are confidential and will not be shared outside of the CommUnity Crisis Helpline Services program. In the event that we determine 911 needs to be notified, we only share vital information with them such as the person’s location, name, and if they’ve already taken action to hurt themselves.