Many national and local organisations run helplines that you can call in a crisis. Talking to a trained listener could give you some support and help you make sense of what's happening for you.
This page covers:
When should I use a helpline or listening service?
If you're struggling with difficult feelings and need to talk to someone quickly, including if you're not ready or able to access other types of support.
How could they help me?
By letting you talk through your feelings and experiences without judging you or telling you what to do. Many listening services let you talk through your problems for as long as you need.
Before calling a helpline, you might want to consider:
What times are they open?
Is it free to call or is there a cost involved?
Is what you say confidential? For example, many services have policies on what to do if someone says they have attempted suicide or are actively planning to.
What will you do if the line is busy? It's often worth trying several times, or you might plan to call back later or try a different service.
You might be able to find this information on the organisation's website, or you could ask the advisor to explain their policies during the call.
I saw the number of a charity crisis line (similar to Samaritans), phoned and someone listened and had time, which actually helped me.
Who can I contact?
- To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email [email protected] or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Welsh Language Line on 0300 123 3011 (7pm–11pm every day).
- If you're experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).
- If you're under 25, you can call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 (Sunday-Friday 2pm–11pm), request support by email using this form on The Mix website or use their crisis text messenger service.
- If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings or self-harm, you can call Papyrus HOPEline on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–5pm), email [email protected] or text 07786 209 697.
- If you identify as male, you can call the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) or use their webchat service.
- If you're a student, you can look on the Nightline website to see if your university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.
- If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day), email [email protected] or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
- If you live in Wales, you can call the Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L). on 0800 123 737 (open 24/7) or you can text 'help' followed by a question to 81066.
- For more options, visit the Helplines Partnership website for a directory of UK helplines. Mind’s Infoline can also help you find services that can support you. If you're outside the UK, befrienders.org lists emotional support helplines around the world.
Once a girl actually answered the phone and kept me talking through my thoughts and suicidal feelings for almost three hours! To her I shall be eternally grateful!
If you can't talk on the phone
As well as phone numbers to call, some organisations routinely offer support in other ways – which could include emails, text messages or web chat. Or you might need to make a specific request: