By Brooke Clayton, Communications Intern
Contacting a crisis line can seem intimidating. And while each call is different, the best thing to remember is what they have in common: no pressure, no judgement, and no more wondering if anyone cares, because we do. Here are some FAQ’s to give a sense of what a call is like to The Crisis Center:
Who answers my call?
When you call, someone with 60 hours of training will answer. Some are staff, but a majority are volunteers. They will introduce themselves right away, and if you feel comfortable, you can share your name as well.
How do I know I won’t be judged?
Empathy is the defining characteristic of our phone calls. When you call the crisis line, you are speaking to a human equal, who has no agenda other than listening and offering support. But if you’re still feeling tentative about using a crisis line, you’re not alone. If you feel uncomfortable calling, reach out to us online or with a text to 1-855-325-4296!
Should I only call in an emergency?
This is one of the most common questions, and the answer is an absolute no: you can call or chat our crisis lines any time at all. Stressed out? Not sure if you’re going to make rent? Worried about a friend? Even if you aren’t contemplating suicide, we understand wanting someone to listen without judgment. That’s what we’re here for.
Do I have to talk?
Not at all. As a matter of fact, you can text our line at any time, or reach out to our online chat at iowacrisichat.org. Our services can be as discreet as you would need or like, for instance, you could save the crisis line’s number (1-855-325-4296) in your contacts under any name at all. Plus, you can text that same number instead! No matter which method you use—call, chat, or text—we just hope you reach out.
How long can we talk?
We don’t end a conversation until we feel confident that we’ve done everything we can to help. After about an hour or so, a volunteer might begin to see if you’re ready to end the conversation, but a call back to check in is still an option.
Can I call if I’m not local?
Absolutely! We operate as part of the National Suicide Prevention’s 24/7 Lifeline service and encourage calls and chats from anywhere and everywhere.
These services all exist to address a question we all ask sometimes, which is, am I alone? The answer is that no, none of us are alone. We’re all in this together, and that’s why we encourage anyone to call, text, or chat with us at 1-855-325-4296 and IowaCrisisChat.org. No matter what the reason, we’re here for you.