One of the most important toll free numbers in existence is the toll free crisis hotline. Anyone who owns a toll free number for people in crisis has a responsibility to provide support to those in need because an incoming caller that makes the choice to dial a toll free hotline is searching for someone who can help. During a crisis, contacting a hotline can be a critical part of the journey to improve overall health and well-being – especially during hard times.
A Judgement-Free Zone
Just by talking to someone with positive feedback and logical responses, you reduce the likelihood you will make a decision you’ll later regret that can harm you or another person. There’s no wrong time to call a crisis hotline. Maybe you need a day or two to consider it. But if you feel especially overwhelmed and upset, immediately placing the call is best.
Be proud of yourself after you make the initial call because it is a huge step to share your innermost thoughts and emotions. By reaching out to experts via the hotline, you’ll be able to connect to additional resources if you need someone who can speak to you daily or provide inpatient services. If you’re calling on behalf of a loved one, your decision to seek help may be life-changing.
Your conversations over the hotline will never be about criticism and shortcomings. You’ll receive advice and learn to improve your critical thinking skills by recognizing your emotional states. Today, many crisis hotlines also have the option for text messaging if you’re not comfortable discussing how you feel over the phone.
Know the Warning Signs
If you’re in a crisis, it’s likely that you’re having a range of emotions that can be confusing or even scary. Consider calling a crisis hotline if any of these symptoms sound familiar:
- Your favorite hobbies have become uninteresting.
- You prefer to sleep most of the day or you can barely sleep at all.
- You wonder what life would be like for others if you were no longer around.
- You think of the possessions you’d leave behind to the people you love.
- You have trouble remembering the last time you felt happy.
- You’ve developed a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality type. One minute you may seem extremely happy only to find yourself depressed soon after, or you feel calm then quickly become aggressive for no reason.
Maybe you’re calling a toll free crisis hotline because you’re concerned about someone else. Make the call if you’ve noticed any of these signs or actions from a best friend, relative, or associate:
- Searching for ways to self-harm online or by asking someone.
- Explaining why there’s no reason to keep living.
- Often using negative words such as trapped, hurt, or hopeless.
- Saying that others would be better off without him/ her.
- Acting out of anger more frequently.
- Taking dangerous actions without sound reasoning.
- Drinking heavily or taking drugs.
Every Crisis is Personal
When you think of a crisis, what comes to mind? Your first thoughts may be the death of a close friend or family member. Maybe your vision of a crisis would be an environmental disaster that destroys someone’s personal possessions, negatively affects their health, and harms people and animals while destroying the city.
You may think that breaking up with someone or going to work in a stressful environment every day is just a part of life. For some, these situations are also a crisis because they can be devastating.
A crisis cannot be defined by personal opinion. During difficult situations, everyone responds differently. Some people react to stress calmly without becoming emotionally distraught. Others become emotionally detached and feel overwhelmed. It’s common that these opposite personalities collide, especially within families and small groups.
Talking about your feelings at times when everyone seems to be handling things much better than you may seem awkward, or even embarrassing. Calling a crisis hotline can help ease the feelings of isolation when it seems as if no one understands.
A Change in Perspective
Your personal thoughts and feelings don’t have to stay bottled up. If your mind and body have difficulty processing traumatic circumstances, it’s good to have someone who’s always willing to listen and help you cope.
Sometimes, you just need a new perspective to feel better about a current situation. Looking at situations in a new light can be beneficial when you remember discouraging events from the past. Family and friends always mean well when advising you, but taking their advice can be difficult based on your relationship and history.
When you speak to someone on a toll free crisis hotline who is personally removed from your situation, you know the person is being genuine and not judgmental.
Someone is Always there for you
No matter how lost you feel, it’s important to understand that it’s never too late to change your circumstances. Bad things happen, but they can be overcome. To begin healing from situations that bring you down mentally and emotionally, emotional support is one of the best remedies. Toll free crisis hotlines offer that support in a safe manner that is confidential and free, and you can connect with someone at any hour of the day or night.
A History of Genuine Connections
One of the first crisis hotlines on record was started by a Reverend named Chad Varah. The importance of helping people in times of crisis became obvious to him after the death of a 13-year-old girl. When he read her story, he learned she needed help before she died, but she felt she had no one to talk to about her problems. After this, he started a crisis hotline as a listening service to let callers know that someone was always available to listen and help. This would keep callers from acting out of desperation and making choices that could ruin, or end, their lives.
Crisis hotlines aren’t just for certain “types of people.” The hotlines exist to help everyone, with no regards to their race, religion, sexual orientation, or lifestyle. Looking back through history to the beginning of crisis hotlines, you’ll see that the motivation for these connections was never about profit, gossip, or ridicule. The mission has always been to help people feel understood and to let them know they have options instead of feeling suicidal, lost, or helpless.