Symptoms of depression can pop up at the most inconvenient times. When your friends are asleep, your therapist is out of the office or your significant other is at work, it can be hard to know where to turn.

Even if you have never considered it, a depression hotline could be a useful resource. Available 24 hours a day, seven days per week, depression helplines are a useful tool for your coping skill toolbox.

When Should You Call a Depression Hotline?

Calling a depression hotline is not an appropriate fit for every situation, so you’ll need to know when and when not to call. Good times to call a depression hotline include:

  • When your symptoms are severe
  • When your other supports are unavailable
  • When you need feedback from an unbiased person
  • When your other coping skills don’t seem to be helping

If you are having a mental health crisis, calling a depression hotline could offer the assistance and guidance you need.

What Kinds of Questions Will You Be Asked?

Each call to a depression helpline will differ depending on who answers the phone and what symptoms you experience. One constant will be the questions asked by the person on the other end of the phone, which may include any of the following:

  • What’s going on?
  • How are you feeling?
  • Are you safe?
  • Are you thinking about hurting yourself or someone else?
  • What do you need?

Some questions may seem odd or unimportant, but the helpline operator needs honest answers to gather information about your situation. Being open and thorough in your answers increases your chances of receiving the most helpful aid possible.

Benefits of Calling a Depression Hotline

One call to a depression hotline could offer several benefits by:

  • Giving you an opportunity to talk about your symptoms
  • Providing support
  • Allowing you to focus on healthy coping skills
  • Helping you access resources available in your community
  • Making it easier to schedule appointments with mental health professionals
  • Evaluating if emergency services are needed
  • Sending a crisis team to your house if necessary

Are Depression Hotlines Free?

Another benefit of depression hotlines is that they are free. Most hotlines receive some source of outside funding to provide these services without any cost to you. However, be sure not to confuse depression hotlines with online therapy options that charge a weekly or monthly fee to speak with a professional.

Is My Call Confidential?

Most depression helplines protect your privacy. Helpline operators will not have access to your address or even your name unless you want them to. You will almost always remain anonymous.

The only time a hotline may break your confidentiality is to protect you or someone you know against the threat of suicide or violence. In these situations, the other person may contact law enforcement to maintain safety.

National Depression Hotlines

There are a variety of depression hotline numbers available to anyone across the country who is in need. Examples include:

Online Hotlines

If you feel more comfortable using a text-based hotline for support, you are in luck. Several options exist so you can chat or text with a depression hotline, such as:

Youth Hotlines

To contact a depression hotline geared toward young people, consider reaching out to:

Depression Hotline Finder

For those interested in setting up face-to-face meetings with a mental health professional, hotlines can help by connecting you to treatment providers in your area. For example, SAMHSA offers a behavioral health treatment services locator with complete listings of facilities and treatment centers across the country. Simply enter your zip code to find available options, then click in the upper right-hand corner to refine your search.

Local Depression Hotlines

National hotlines offer tremendous services, but sometimes you might feel better understood by a depression hotline staffed by locals. Fortunately, all states and many counties have crisis hotlines to assess and address your needs:

Alabama

Alabama Department of Public Health

1-800-691-8426

Alaska

North Star Behavioral Health System

1-800-478-7575

Arizona

Mercy Care Crisis Services

1-800-631-1314

Arkansas

Arkansas Crisis Center

1-888-274-7472

California

Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Center

1-877-727-4747

Colorado

Colorado Crisis Services

1-844-493-8255

Connecticut

United Way of Connecticut

211

Delaware

Contact Lifeline

1-800-262-9800

Florida

United Way of Florida

211 in multiple counties

Georgia

Fulton Emergency Mental Health

1-404-730-1600

Hawaii

AMHD Crisis Line

1-800-753-6879

Idaho

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

1-888-573-7652

Illinois

InTouch Hotline

1-312-996-5535

Indiana

United Way of Indiana

211

Iowa

Great Rivers 211

1-800-362-8255

Kansas

Crosswinds Counseling and Wellness

1-866-330-3310

Kentucky

Pathways Inc.

1-800-562-8909

Louisiana

Louisiana Association of United Ways

211

Maine

Maine Department of Health and Human Services

1-888-568-1112

Maryland

Mental Health Association Call Center

1-301-662-2255

Massachusetts

Samaritans-Suicide Prevention

1-617-247-0220

Michigan

University of Michigan Health System

1-734-936-5900

Minnesota

Minneapolis Hennepin County Medical Center

1-612-873-2222

Mississippi

Mississippi Contact Helpline

1-662-328-0200

Missouri

Missouri Department of Mental Health

1-800-356-5395

Montana

Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-273-8255

Nebraska

Center Point Helpline

1-402-475-6695

Nevada

Nevada Crisis Call Center

1-775-784-8090

New Hampshire

New Hampshire HelpLine

1-800-852-3388

New Jersey

Ocean Mental Health Services

1-732-240-6100

New Mexico

NM Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-866-435-7166

New York

Capital District Psychiatric Center Crisis Unit

1-518-447-9650

North Carolina

Mecklenburg County Crisis

1-704-566-3410

North Dakota

FirstLink Crisis Services

1-701-235-7335

Ohio

Dayton Suicide Prevention Center

1-937-229-7777

Oklahoma

Heart Line/ Care Line

1-405-848-2273

Oregon

National Suicide Prevention Line

1-800-273-8255

Pennsylvania

Resolve Crisis Services

1-888-796-8226

Rhode Island

The Samaritans of Rhode Island

1-401-272-4044

South Carolina

United Way Association of South Carolina

211

South Dakota

Northeastern Mental Health Center

1-605-229-1000

Tennessee

Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line

1-855-274-7471

Texas

Hope Line

1-325-677-7773

Utah

Weber Human Services

1-801-625-3700

Vermont

Clara Martin Center

1-800-639-6360

Virginia

Crisis Link

1-703-527-4077

Washington

Wahkiakum County Health and Human

1-800-635-5989

West Virginia

Help4WV

1-844-435-7498

Wisconsin

The Crisis Center of Family Services

1-920-436-8888

Wyoming

Wyoming Behavioral Institute

1-800-457-9312

If you still need more help addressing your depression linked to a problem with substance use, consider contacting The Recovery Village to learn about treatment options for co-occurring disorders.

    

PsychCentral. “Depression Hotline Numbers.” November 6, 2018. Accessed on February 25, 2019.

SuicideHotline.com. “Hotlines in Your State.” April 29, 2018. Accessed on February 25, 2019.

USA Today. “What Actually Happens When You Call You Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.” September 10, 2018. Accessed on February 25, 2019.

Depression Hotlines
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