Learn the benefits of calling a suicide hotline, find out what to expect when you call and locate national, international and local resources.
Suicidal thoughts can be hard to discuss with friends and loved ones. Knowing who to talk to or feeling safe talking about these thoughts can seem impossible. In these cases, a suicide prevention hotline may be a good option. Suicide hotlines provide judgment-free support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Calling a suicide crisis hotline can be intimidating. While it may seem overwhelming or even scary to call someone to discuss suicidal thoughts, suicide helplines are staffed by individuals trained to handle these types of calls.
When Should You Call a Suicide Hotline?
Calling a suicide hotline may not always be the best course of action to take, so it is important to know when to call a suicide hotline and when to use other resources.
You may benefit most from calling a 24-hour suicide hotline if you have been experiencing any of the following:
- Thinking you would be better off dead
- Believing it would be better for others if you weren’t around
- Wanting to go to sleep and never wake up
- Having specific thoughts of harming or killing yourself
- Believing that you are a burden to others
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible.
What Kinds of Questions Will You Be Asked?
One fear associated with calling a suicide hotline is not knowing what happens when you call a suicide hotline. Being prepared with this information before you call can ease some of this stress. When you call a suicide hotline, the first question you are asked will typically assess why you are calling. After this, the hotline operator may ask questions to determine if you are safe.
To get the best results and the most helpful assistance, it is important to be honest and open when answering questions, even if they seem irrelevant.
Benefits of Calling a Suicide Hotline
There are many benefits of suicide hotlines. Calling can:
- Provide support when you need it most
- Help you focus on healthy coping skills
- Connect you to with local resources and emergency services (when appropriate)
Are Suicide Hotlines Free?
Unlike therapy options which are conducted over the phone or online, suicide hotlines are free without any hidden charges. A free suicide hotline can allow you to speak with someone when you are in a crisis, regardless of if you have insurance. Most toll-free suicide hotlines are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving you a free resource anytime you need it.
Is My Call Confidential?
One feature of most suicide hotlines is that they are committed to protecting your privacy. Anonymous suicide hotlines allow callers to speak with supportive operators without revealing their identity or other personal details. Confidential suicide hotlines may gather information such as your name and location but will not share this information or use it unless there is a serious concern for your safety or the safety of someone else. Even in these cases, confidentiality is protected to the highest degree possible.
National Suicide Hotlines
There are several national suicide hotlines accessible from nearly anywhere in the United States. These national suicide prevention hotlines can be used by anyone in the country, at any time. The most reputable of these hotlines is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Individuals who feel particularly uncomfortable talking about their suicidal thoughts may find a suicide hotline online chat to be a more accessible option. Online suicide hotlines and suicide hotline text lines allow people to chat online or via text with support personnel. Some crisis line text numbers and online chats available include:
In addition to general national helplines, there are several helplines dedicated to special populations such as teenagers. For example, Teen Line is a teen suicide hotline that has both call and text options. This service even provides a teen suicide prevention hotline app for smartphones among other ways to connect.
Reach youth suicide hotline at:
Due to discrimination, LGBTQ youths are often at a higher risk of suicide. In order to best support this group, there are specific LGBT suicide hotlines such as the Trevor Project hotline. The Trevor Project can be reached in any of the following ways:
- Call 1-866-488-7346
- Text START to 678-678
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) runs a veterans crisis line providing specialized help for veterans. Many operators at the veterans’ suicide hotline are veterans themselves. The veterans’ crisis line number can be reached in the following ways:
- Call 1-800-273-8255
- Text 828-255
International Suicide Hotlines
Many countries have their own hotlines. If you live abroad or are traveling, there may be an international suicide hotline available to you. These can be located using an international suicide hotline finder such as Befrienders Worldwide.
Additional suicide hotlines in specific countries can be found online on various websites, including the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and WhatsApp.
Suicide Hotline Finder
If you would like to find a hotline near you, you may wish to use an online suicide hotline finder. Additional resources for specific populations, including gender, race, and age-specific resources, can also be found online.
Local Suicide Hotlines
If you would prefer to call a local suicide hotline instead of a national hotline, there are many local suicide prevention hotlines available. However, unlike most national options, local hotlines may not be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Local suicide hotline numbers by the state served include:
Browse by State
Northwest Alabama Mental Health Center
Crisis Services of North Alabama
Mental Health Association in Alaska
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
Alaska Division of Behavioral Health
Mental Health Association of Arizona
EMPACT – Suicide Prevention Center
Mental Health Council of Arkansas
Arkansas Crisis Center
California Mental Health Service Authority
AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) San Francisco
California Accredited Crisis Centers
Friends for Survival
Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention
Mental Health Colorado
Sources of Strength
Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program
University of Colorado Depression Center
Mental Health Association Connecticut
The United Way of CT
Mental Health Association in Delaware
New Directions Delaware
Mental Health America – Washington DC
AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) – National Capital Area
DC Behavioral Health Association
NAMI – Florida
Mental Health America of Northeast Florida
Mental Health Association of Central Florida
AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) – Central Florida
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Inc.
(813) 964-1964 x3043
NAMI – Georgia
Mental Health Association of Georgia
AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) – Georgia
Behavioral Health Link
Mental Health America of Hawaii
AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) Hawaii Chapter
Mental Health Kokua United Way Hawai’i
Centerstone – Illinois locations
Crisis Line of Will and Grundy Counties
(815) 722-3344 x815
Greater Chicago/Illinois Chapter (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)
IL Mental Health Collaborative / IL Warm Line
Mental Health America of Illinois
Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Suicide Prevention Services of America
Mental Health America of Indiana
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Indiana Chapter
Purdue University Fort Wayne – Behavioral Health and Family Studies Institute
Indiana Division of Mental Health & Addiction
NAMI Iowa Chapter
AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) Iowa
Your Life Iowa
Polk County Suicide Prevention Coalition-Polk County Health Department
Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Mental Health America of the Heartland
AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) Greater Kansas
Mental Health Association of Kentucky
AFSP Kentucky – Support Groups
Kentucky Mental Health Coalition
Mental Health America in Louisiana
Via Link (Listening, Understanding, Connecting)
Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center
Mental Health Association of Maryland
Mental Health Association in Talbot County
Massachusetts Association for Mental Health
Riverside Trauma Center
Michigan Suicide Hotlines
Mental Health Association in Michigan
AFSP – Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor
Mental Health Association Minnesota
SAVE – Suicide Survivor Support
Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health
Minnesota Carlton County Public Health and Human Services
Mental Health Association of South Mississippi
Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare of Mississippi
Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Complex
Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri
AFSP Greater Mid-Missouri
Pharmacists Preventing Suicides
Suicide Awareness Survivor Support
Kids Under Twenty One (KUTO)
Montana Mental Health Association
(888) 268-2743 x406
Montana Children’s Initiative
Critical Illness and Trauma Foundation
Mental Health Association of Nebraska
The Kim Foundation
(603) 225-5359 x315
New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Association
NAMI-NH CONNECT Suicide Prevention Program
NAMI New Jersey
Mental Health Association in New Jersey
New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addictions Agencies, Inc.
New Jersey Hopeline
NAMI New Mexico
Mental Health Association of New Mexico
Honoring Native Life
NAMI New York State
The Mental Health Association in New York State
Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide – University of Rochester Medical Center
Center for the Promotion of Mental Health in Juvenile Justice
The Samaritans of New York
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-North Carolina
NAMI North Carolina
Mental Health Association in Forsyth County
REAL Crisis Center
Family Services, Inc.
Durham Yellow Ribbon Program
Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Abuse
AFSP North Dakota – State Fact Sheet
Native American Development Center
Pride Collective (Serving Minnesota and North Dakota)
North Dakota Cares Coalition
NAMI- North Dakota
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Suicide Prevention and Research
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Mental Health America of Franklin County
AFSP Central Ohio
Consolidated Care, Inc.
Mental Health Association of Oklahoma
Oklahoma Mental Health and Aging Coalition
Oklahoma HeartLine (211)
Mental Health America of Oregon
Lane County Suicide Prevention
Washington County Suicide Prevention Council
Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania
AFSP Central Pennsylvania
Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) – Center
NAMI – Rhode Island
Mental Health Association of Rhode Island
Kid’s Link RI
Parent Support Network of Rhode Island
Samaritans, Inc. Rhode Island
United Way of Rhode Island
Rhode Island Student Assistance Services (RISAS)
NAMI – South Carolina
Mental Health America of South Carolina
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – South Carolina Chapter
Three Rivers Behavioral Health
NAMI South Dakota
South Dakota Council of Mental Health Centers, Inc.
Aliive – Roberts County
HELPLine Center (211)
Mental Health Association of East Tennessee
Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI)
Tennessee Voices for Children
Hotline to Help – Austin Travis County Integral Care
Valley Behavioral Health
Violence and Injury Prevention Program
Vermont Department of Mental Health
University of Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP)
NAMI – Vermont
PEAR: People Education Advocacy Recovery
Mental Health America of Virginia
The Crisis Center, Inc.
ACTS Helpline/Suicide Prevention Hotline
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services – PRS CrisisLink
The Planning Council
Forefront Innovations in Suicide Prevention
Safer Homes Coalition
AFSP Washington State Chapter
Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center
West Virginia Behavioral Health Providers Association
Wisconsin United for Mental Health
Grace for 2 Brothers
Wyoming Association of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Centers
If you are struggling with substance use and a mental health condition that may be causing suicidal thoughts, The Recovery Village may be able to provide you with dual diagnosis treatment. Contact The Recovery Village today to learn more about options for treating co-occurring disorders
SuicideHotline.com. “Hotlines in Your State.” April 29, 2018. Accessed on May 17, 2019.
USA Today. “What Actually Happens When You Call You […]e Prevention Hotline.” September 10, 2018. Accessed on May 17, 2019.
iFred.com. “Suicide Hotlines.” Accessed on May 17, 2019.
SuicidePreventionLifeline.org “Talk to Someone Now.” Accessed on May 17, 2019.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.