When you feel as though you can’t take your emotions and mental state anymore, it can sometimes become necessary to talk to someone right away to get help. When this happens, there are several 24 hour free counseling hotlines that can assist you. But, what happens when you call a crisis hotline? What are they able to do to help you? And what can’t they do for you? These critical questions often keep people from using these services.
It is important to know what these 24-hour free counseling hotlines can do to help you, what a hotline can’t do, and what to expect when you call one. There are also other options available to you that can allow you to the help you need when you need it. Here’s what you need to know about 24-hour free counseling hotlines and your other available options to get help.
What is it?
A 24-hour free counseling hotline, also sometimes called a crisis hotline, is typically a toll-free number provided by free counseling services that you can call from anywhere, from any phone, at any time of the day. There are also some hotlines that allow for text conversations if you are not comfortable talking on the phone. Suicide prevention hotlines such as the national suicide prevention lifeline also fall within this category.
These hotlines are not just for people that are experiencing feelings of hopelessness. In fact, many of the people that call these crisis hotlines are just looking for answers and help in coping with whatever they are dealing with. Many people call hotline numbers to talk when they feel like no one else will understand or when they’re going through something specific that they don’t feel they can trust anyone in their daily life with. Good thing there is a crisis text counseling program staffed by live-trained crisis counselors who are generally accessible 24 hours a day.
Telephone Hotline: Who Will I Talk To?
Crisis hotlines are staffed with trained individuals that can provide you with resources and a listening ear. Sometimes therapists and counselors staff these hotlines, but typically, they are staffed by individuals who have received education and training in how to help individuals who are facing a mental health crisis.
The people you will talk to at a 24-hour free counseling hotline are nonjudgmental and are trained to be excellent active listeners. If you need someone to talk to about your problems and struggles, they can do this for you. If you need resources to get help for your mental health, they can help with this also.
A Typical Call to a Crisis Hotline
One of the things that keep people from contacting a crisis hotline is that they do not know what to expect when they call into one. The feeling of not knowing what will happen or whether or not it will help is often enough to keep people from using these valuable resources. Here is what a typical call will look like.
Often when you first call a hotline, you will be greeted by an automated message. Usually, you will not get a person immediately. However, depending on the staffing level of the hotline, the wait times are generally very short and under a minute. If there is a high call volume or a problem with staffing, your wait time might be a bit longer.
When a trained crisis worker answers the phone, they will be calm and comfortable with you in their tone and manner. They will listen to you, your emotions, your thoughts, and your problems with compassion and understanding so that you can have someone to listen to who will not judge you.
With most crisis hotlines, the crisis worker will answer with a greeting, and you can take the conversation where you need to go from there. They do not ask a lot of questions or try to get your background. They will ask you how they can help, and allow you to tell them what the problem is.
The ultimate goal of these hotlines is to make people feel comfortable, supported, and safe. You can talk about literally anything, and the crisis worker will be able to listen and offer input if you ask for it. The crisis worker might ask you some questions to get a clearer understanding of the problem, but they will ultimately let you steer the conversation.
If it seems necessary and you are truly in crisis, the crisis worker will be able to help you come up with a safety plan so that you can remain safe while you are trying to get help. They may also suggest intervention, such as an emergency room. It is only in very rare cases that someone is in enough immediate danger to themselves or others that the crisis worker might contact the authorities. But this is something that you likely will not have to deal with.
At the end of the call, the crisis worker will make sure that you have gotten the help you needed. They will go over your action plan with you again so that you can be clear on what you need to do if things get worse. They may also make sure that you have no further questions or need any referrals to additional help.
Crisis workers are trained to be excellent active listeners. This means that they will mostly listen to you talk, although they may ask questions for clarification or interject to let you know that they are genuinely listening. You can talk to a crisis worker about literally anything, and they will sit and listen to you without judgment. The conversation can go on as long or as short as you like.
Your safety plan may also include action steps to get long-term help with your mental health condition. This may include planning to contact referrals for ongoing counseling, contacting a mental health institution for information about getting help and possible admittance, or contacting a psychiatrist for accurate diagnosis and medication treatment.
The safety plan is something that is there to help you when you need it. It is not something that you have to do. And, if you begin to feel worse and you aren’t comfortable following your crisis plan, you can always call back into the hotline to get additional help.
Provide Mental Health Resources
Because most of the crisis workers who answer hotlines are not counselors or therapists, there is only so much that they can do for you. If you need serious mental health services, you will need to contact psychologists or psychiatrists in your area. These crisis workers can give you referrals to professionals, hospitals, and clinics in your area and online that will be able to give you additional help with treatment.
It is important to note that these crisis workers use a simple directory to find resources in your area. There is no guarantee that these clinics, hospitals, or doctors accept your health insurance or are affordable. You may have to do some homework to see if you can use the referrals or not. In some cases, you may have difficulty using any of the resources, especially if you live in a rural area where there are fewer mental health professionals and facilities.
Contact Authorities When Necessary
The crisis hotline workers can contact the authorities when necessary, but they will not do it lightly. Crisis workers only contact the authorities if you display signs that you are in immediate danger. If you are in immediate danger, the authorities contacted will send officers and possibly a social worker to your home for a wellness check to make sure you are okay.
This intervention is designed to make sure that you are safe, and they may work with you to put into action your safety plan that you developed with the crisis worker. In some cases, the crisis worker may try to keep you on the phone while they are waiting for authorities to arrive.
What A 24 Hour Free Counseling Hotline Cannot Do
While a crisis hotline is easy to and they can help in some ways, there is much more that these hotlines cannot do for you. A 24-hour free counseling hotline is very limited in the services that it can provide. It is designed for use in an emergency or mental health crisis, not for ongoing treatment of mental illness and other problems.
Ongoing Mental Health Counseling
If you are having mental health issues, ongoing counseling is usually something that can help. Psychotherapy or counseling can both be highly effective in relieving symptoms of mental illness. With ongoing, you can learn your triggers and overcome them. You will be able to discuss your thoughts, feelings, and problems in a safe environment where there is no judgment and help can be offered.
Schedule Mental Health Appointments
While crisis workers can give you referrals to doctors, hospitals, psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinics, they are not able to schedule appointments for these services. They will only be able to give you the names and phone numbers of the resources.
Promise Mental Health Services
Crisis workers can give you referrals, but they cannot promise that you will get help, treatment, or services from those places. These referrals are only meant to be a starting point to help you get the assistance you need. Crisis workers cannot make any promises as to the services you might be provided, if any, at all. Some doctor referrals don’t pan out because the doctor is not accepting new patients. A mental health clinic or hospital may not have any available beds. There are a number of reasons why the referrals might not be able to help you.
Additionally, someone at a free hotline cannot diagnose you with mental disorders. To get diagnosed with mental disorders, you must see a professional such as a psychiatrist who is able to provide diagnostic services. This is one of the many ways that calling hotline numbers or getting hotline services from a national hotline cannot replace long-term medical or mental health care.
Most Common Crisis Hotlines
There are hundreds of crisis helplines available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is perhaps the most widely circulated number when it comes to crisis hotlines. However, there are many other hotlines available, including ones specifically for domestic abuse victims, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or other specific situations and illnesses. PsychCentral has an excellent resource for finding hotlines that might align with your needs.
When Free Crisis Hotlines Are Not Enough
When these hotlines aren’t enough to tackle your real mental health issue, there are other options available to you 24/7/365. Online counseling platforms are available to help you cope with your mental health issue or to help you cope with relationship problems and other situations that are causing you distress. These online counseling sites are affordable, convenient, and can offer ongoing counseling with a selected therapist in your state. ReGain is one of the best of these available, especially when it comes to salvaging relationships.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the hotline number?
“The hotline” refers to the national domestic violence hotline. https://www.thehotline.org/ 1-800-799-7233. It’s a place where you can talk to trained mental health operators who have domestic abuse resources. When you’re experiencing domestic violence, you may be afraid that there’s no way out. You don’t feel safe in your home environment. Maybe your abuser alienated you from your friends and family, and you feel unsafe reaching out for help. The hotline understands these concerns and provides free support to anyone who is experiencing domestic violence. That could include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. There are many types of domestic violence, and all of them are valid. Verbal abuse doesn’t leave visible scars, but it is harmful to the victim’s mental health and wellbeing. The counselors at the hotline want to support you and get you into a safe space. Many hotline numbers provide trained crisis counselors and offer free and support. One of them is the national suicide prevention lifeline. It helps people who are in crisis and having feelings of hopelessness or who are a danger to themselves. The national suicide prevention lifeline has saved many lives. Counselors at the national suicide prevention lifeline are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 1-800-273-8255. Call services at the national suicide prevention lifeline are available at all hours a day, as is the live online chat option on their website. The national suicide prevention lifeline has more than 170 crisis centers that help people who need it. The lifeline is free.
Spread the word about these resources to anyone who needs them. The mental health services administration recommends hotlines and hotline numbers for crisis intervention and help. These numbers have support for the deaf and hard of hearing. Everyone deserves some help that is free when they’re in crisis. The hotlines are disability-inclusive and have resources to assist you if you are deaf or hard of hearing. You can find support for substance abuse and mental health concerns on these hotlines. The health services administration SAMHSA provides support to anyone coping with a drug or alcohol problem. They have many resources for these individuals. There’s nothing worse than feeling alone when you’re hurting. You may not know where to turn. That’s where hotlines and hotline numbers can help. Hotline numbers don’t cost anything to call, and most state clearly that they’re toll-free on their website. They are free and provide invaluable support to people. These numbers help people with domestic violence, substance abuse, emotional distress, depression or feelings of hopelessness, or helping people with their emotional well-being. It’s comforting to know that there are free services out there dedicated to local crisis intervention. If you need emotional support, try using one of these hotlines to help you through a difficult time.
Is the crisis text line free?
The crisis text line is free. Don’t worry about the cost when it comes to texting for help. It provides support for abuse and mental health challenges. When you are in a crisis, you may feel paralyzed, and that’s understandable. Take one step and text the hotline. You will be surprised at the support that you receive. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may want to utilize the text line. Or, sometimes people who don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone about their problems can text about then. The crisis text line is . Like the national lifeline, it provides help to people, and they don’t have to reveal their identity. The crisis text line gives support for so many people each day. It’s a beautiful resource you can use, and it has a national network of counselors who are ready to help you. It supports people in distress prevention and crisis. The text line and its national network of counselors are ready to help you. It’s crucial to have a resource dedicated to distress prevention and crisis. That’s where the text line comes in. Whether you are deaf or hard of hearing or prefer to talk via text, the crisis text line is a fantastic resource if you’re seeking some help and need support. And it provides free advice.
Free or low-cost support groups are also beneficial to many, whether they’re alongside counseling or independently. It’s important to note that support groups are not the same as group counseling and that if you need something more, reaching out to a mental health provider is the best way to go.
How do I get a hotline phone number?
One of the most reliable ways to get a hotline phone number is to visit a local crisis center. That way, you know that the number is legitimate and has been vetted by the center. You know that the counselors you’re speaking to have extensive experience in helping people through crises. They have a lot of verified resources they can give you. You can also find hotlines or hotline numbers by searching online. Using the internet, you can also look hotline numbers up that are related to specific concerns or call a general national hotline depending on what sort of support you need. Maybe, you’re struggling with mental health issues. Perhaps, you’re in an unsafe living situation where there’s domestic violence. When you visit a local mental health center, they will have resources to free services to help you. You don’t need to explain what’s going on with you. You can just ask them for the numbers for mental health concerns, prevention, and crisis resources. The same is true for when people call hotline numbers. People call hotline numbers for a variety of reasons, and most hotlines make it clear that they will maintain your. You can as much or as little as you want to when you call hotline numbers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Continued
How can I get free counseling for mental health?
If you’re looking to find licensed therapists or counselors for free, you should check out your local community center. Local community centers often have a wide range of mental health services that are available for free. Many of these centers have mental health professionals on staff. While you may not be able to get free one-on-one counseling, you will likely be able to join a peer support group or mental health class for no cost at all, completely free. These groups usually focus on a specific problem, such as eating disorders, bipolar disorder, or addiction. So, the mental health services might be a bit limited, but you won’t have to pay for them.
Is there any free online chat therapy or free counseling online for mental health?
When it comes to free online counseling with licensed therapists, there really aren’t any free options. However, you can get counseling or advice for free online. Different services allow you to talk to others and seek advice about your problems, though they can’t technically be classed as free online counseling. However, these free online services are great jumping off points to improve your mental health. Some free online counseling providers give free sessions before you commit to a plan or subscription with them. This could be a great way to see if online counseling is a good fit for you, and maybe your partner, before you make any financial commitments to the process.
Is counseling for mental health free?
If you’re looking for an actual certified therapist, then you probably won’t be able to find one for free. However, there are some places where you can get valuable input from a mental health professional or therapist. For example, you should check out your local community center. Local community centers often have a wide range of mental health services that are available for free. Many of these centers have professional therapists on staff. While you may not be able to get free one-on-one counseling, you will likely be able to join a peer support group or mental health class for free. If you are seeking mental health solutions, you can also check your local department of health for free classes and free online resources.
Or, you can check online counseling providers, especially those that provide online counseling for depression. In many cases, they’ll offer the first session or two for free. Even these few sessions can help you improve your mental health and give you great insight for how to move forward towards better mental health.
Is there a free marriage counseling resource or organization?
Usually, marriage counseling isn’t free. However, you can check to see if your insurance will cover marriage counseling and make it more cost effective. Since marriage counseling can contribute to your overall behavioral health and help reduce stress anxiety in your marriage, it’s important to check if your insurance provider offers help when it comes to getting marriage counseling.
Before you try to find counseling services on your own, it’s important to ask your insurance provider first. They’ll be able to give you a list of licensed therapists whose services are covered by your insurance plan. You should also ask if the coverage extends to your partner, whether you’re married or not.
Is Talkspace free for mental health disorders?
While Talkspace may be advertised like it’s a free option for online counseling, it actually isn’t. There is a counseling cost associated with Talkspace that isn’t always advertised clearly. They offer several different plans for treatment and to healthcare professionals. You can choose to text or video call a mental health specialist, or you can do your counseling over the phone. They also have unlimited messaging options. Their cheapest plan is $49 per week, and their prices go all the way up to $99 per week.
How can I get free couples counseling or marriage counseling?
If you’re looking for free online counseling options for couples counseling, there are a few places you can try. There are many online therapists and counselors who may offer counseling for free for a time, before you have to commit to the process and pay for the counseling sessions. There are also many religious leaders who do marriage counseling sessions for free. There are a few options for free online counseling for couples, and while most of them are free to join, you might have to buy the materials. However, the courses and plans are full of great professional advice from certified mental health professionals, and they are a great place to start when you want to strengthen your marriage.
Is 7 cups of tea counseling free?
No, 7 Cups of Tea (AKA 7cups) is not a free online counseling service. While it is free to sign up for 7cups, you do have to pay to talk to a licensed therapist. So, you can get emotional support and input from other users, but if you want to use 7cups to do actual online counseling, you’ll have to pay.
The monthly cost of 7cups is $150, and this includes 10 messages a week (2 messages a day, 5 days a week) from your online professional. There are no video or audio call options; all of the online counseling is done only through text chat or messages.
Why is counseling for mental health so expensive?
Even with the abundance of free online resources and online options, counseling can be pretty expensive. This is because it is technically a health care service, and mental health providers study and practice for years to receive accreditation.
While you can find plenty of free online resources to help you overcome the problems or feelings that you may be experiencing, it’s not the same as actually talking with a therapist. One of the main reasons lots of people these days are choosing online counseling is because it is usually cheaper than face to face. So, because of the often lower base rate and the ability to meet with your therapist online, choosing online counseling is almost always cheaper than traditional in-person counseling.
How do you know if you need counseling for mental health?
Given the state of psychology today, it’s possible to find a counselor anytime and anywhere via online counseling. If you’ve recently gone through some difficult experiences, such as the loss of a loved one, a bad breakup, or a major transition, then you might want to talk to a therapist or give online counseling a try. These experiences can really take a toll on your mental health, and talking with a mental health professional will give you a lot of options for how to heal in a way that won’t damage your mental health more. A therapist can help you process the experience and the emotions surrounding the experience in a healthy and helpful way. They can also help you improve your behavioral health and overall mental health.
Going through free online counseling and talking through your symptoms is a great first step towards the diagnosis and treatment of any mental health issues you may be facing. If you feel the need to see a therapist, there’s never a bad time to start counseling. You can start your journey to better behavioral health and mental health today!
How much is a hotline?
Hotlines are free and provide support to many different individuals depending on their needs. Unlike counseling, which can be an ongoing cost, there are no financial responsibilities involved in calling a hotline. Take advantage of the free crisis counselors who are waiting to help you through a difficult time. The counselors are empathetic, compassionate, and want to help you get the support you need. They are disability-friendly and have TTY ability for the deaf and hard of hearing. That’s why calling a crisis hotline is helpful; money isn’t an issue and anyone can call. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support when you need it.
If you need a crisis hotline or want to learn more about therapy, please see below:
Where Can I Find More Information About Mental Health?