What happens when someone calls a suicide hotline?

176 Answers.
Last Updated: 08/09/2016 at 9:43am
Top Rated Answers
SpencerT
September 24th, 2015 5:57am

As a volunteer for a particular suicide/emotional support line in the UK (and I can only go by my experience there), I can say that we understand how difficult it must be to pick up the phone in the first place. If you suddenly get nervous, don't like the sound of the operator, hang up. Try again as many times as you like until you feel comfortable to speak. The person you speak to will be highly trained and empathetic, so will understand that you may need to take some time before you start speaking. Silence is fine: take as long as you need, every now and then you'll be gently reminded that the operator is still there, and may ask how they can help, is there anything you would like to talk about, has something happened today - that sort of thing. For the charity I volunteer for, everything remains absolutely confidential. We cannot see your phone number, we don't know where you are. You can be completely honest and open.

1 Tip to Feel Better
Ginieboops
September 27th, 2015 4:30pm

They pick up ask you why you called and they'll give you reasons not to kill yourself talk to you, make you feel loved and give you places to go so it'll never happen again, they are all lovely, confidential and some of the most loving people you'll ever talk to.

Erynn
January 3rd, 2015 8:00pm

It depends, but from my experience they've varied from unhelpful-but-kind to helpful. Good news is, if they are unhelpful or unkind, YOU have the power to hang up, and, you also have the choice to call back and probably be connected to someone else, or call another hotline number. I have found suicide hotlines able to help: come up with coping techniques, support you in talking to someone you know, help you know when to and how to get professional help, and if you have immediate plans to hurt yourself they may ask to send you help (i think most have the power to send professional support, but they seem to always as first, and only do so if you are showing them signs that you may kill yourself in an extremely immediate sense). I have known suicide hotlines to even pay for and call a cab so that someone who needed to could get to the hospital. If you don't know what to do, they can be an amazing help. I keep three hotline numbers in my phone and advise anyone going through a rough time to keep a hotline or two in their phone and wallet - even if you don't use them, at least you have the choice.

Zozzie
May 28th, 2015 6:39pm

Much like on 7 cups, you will be answered by a trained listener who is there for the caller to talk to, and will take necessary action, whether that be just listening, reassuring, or giving requested assistance. The caller determines the response given by the hotline.

Anonymous
September 10th, 2015 12:28am

nothing, they dont help...............................................................................................................

What happens when you call the suicide hotline.

Ekittykat
September 29th, 2014 12:10pm

When someone calls a suicide hotline or a distress centre and they say they are suicidal they get assessed for the risk at the present moment. If they are currently suicidal, there may have to be an intervention from the police to keep that person safe. If they person is not in any current danger to themselves or others, but the person has thought of suicide, a plan will be made and resources (such as family, hospital, 911, hotlines, etc) will be acknowledged in order for the person to be able to contact in the case that they feel suicidal later on.

Anonymous
October 29th, 2015 12:36pm

Depending on the suicide hotline, your call may be routed to a central location or, as in the case of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, your call may be answered by the center closest to you. When you call, you'll typically hear a message confirming the number you have reached and then on-hold music until someone can answer your call. Once your call is answered, a caring and trained person will listen to you, learn about your situation, ask questions and will then generally tell you about mental health services in your area. Services in your area can range from a mobile response team to a suicide prevention center staffed with counselors where you can be accommodated overnight.

insightfulTruth93
November 21st, 2015 5:48pm

Depending on the suicide hotline, your call may be routed to a central location or, as in the case of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, your call may be answered by the center closest to you. When you call, you'll typically hear a message confirming the number you have reached and then on-hold music until someone can answer your call. WA friendly voice told me their name and asked me how I was doing. I wasn’t pressed for any private, identifying details. The phone counselor simply let me talk. I told her I wasn’t suicidal, but I was depressed and was curious what type of support they offered. I have never needed a hotline because of my excellent support network, so I wasn't sure what to say. However, taking the step to reach out to somebody has always improved my mood, so I told the phone counselor that I felt better and hung up. The SPRC didn’t call back. There was no rescue unit outside my door. I simply had a very nice conversation with a supportive phone counselor who was there to help me if I needed it. If I had been suicidal as I have experienced from time to time in the past, I can imagine that having a sincere person to talk to at four in the morning would be a very valuable asset. My support network isn't nocturnal as I am..so. there

Anonymous
November 11th, 2014 6:47pm

Sometimes it is really hard to get connected on the hotline, but the operators you meet are very kind. They really want to assist you in whatever you are going through.

Anonymous
September 9th, 2015 11:16am

You can call the suicide hotline for three different things: 1. If you're thinking about suicide 2. If a friend you have is thinking of suicide or is depressed and you want to support them, and 3. If you're in emotional distress. You might have to wait a minute or two on hold, but soon you will connect with someone and you'll be able to talk to them about whatever you're going through. The one's working at the suicide hotline are very supportive and helpful, and will talk to you until you're feeling a little bit better. :)

Anonymous
September 27th, 2015 1:42am

When someone calls a suicide hotline they get the help they need, if that means getting someone to come help you or if that means they can talk to you and trust that you will be safe. They will help you to the best of their ability's.

Kindness101
April 16th, 2015 12:18pm

Means that they are searching for help for the suicide thoughts that they are having. it is the first step.

Anonymous
September 13th, 2015 9:21pm

When I called I was put on hold for maybe 30-45 seconds while they routed my call to the nearest hotline center. I waited a little and a woman began talking to me calmly and soothingly. I spoke to her for about a half hour and then hung up and felt much better. I haven't called in over a year now and I'm genuinely okay.

Egaeus
October 24th, 2015 1:24am

They are heard. When someone calls a suicide hotline, on the other side there's someone who cares and tries to make the best of a situation. We all deserve to be heard and the people on the other side of the receiver are the ones who listen.

Anonymous
December 6th, 2015 12:09am

It's better to call them crisis hotilnes, because you don't have to be suicidal to use their services. If you are lonely or struggling with depression, you can generally get support for those issues as well. Some operators are instructed to ask everyone who calls if they are feeling suicidal and they have means and a plan to carry out the thoughts. If you have thoughts of harming yourself they will offer you emotional support, if you are in a dangerous situation they will support you and offer to call medical services as well.

Anonymous
December 12th, 2015 11:57am

When you call a hotline usually you first talk to a switch board, who will then put you through to someone who can help you. Who you're then put through to will be non-judgemental and will let you talk about how you're feeling. Calling is not something to be afraid of, if they didn't care or want to help you, they wouldn't answer the phone.

Anonymous
November 1st, 2014 4:33pm

You start talking to someone who is specailizated in suicide and they support you and talk with you about it and try to make you feel better :)

Anonymous
September 16th, 2015 6:08pm

Much like what happens here - someone will listen to you while your identity remains anonymous. If, however, a caller is threatening suicide in that very instance, suggests that self-harm is imminent and has at hand the means to do so, then in most states the law mandates that emergency services be sent to help the individual. This should not dissuade anyone from calling. If indeed someone is suicidal, in any way, shape, or form, calling a suicide hotline could be the best thing for such an individual. Never hesitate to let someone you trust know when you are feeling suicidal - if such a person isn't available, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected to a crisis line in your area. Be well.

aliamarietalia
January 13th, 2016 3:50pm

From healthy place.com: Depending on the suicide hotline, your call may be routed to a central location or, as in the case of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, your call may be answered by the center closest to you. When you call, you'll typically hear a message confirming the number you have reached and then on-hold music until someone can answer your call. Someone who is trained to listen will then pick up and talk to you.

Anonymous
October 21st, 2014 6:04pm

You'll explain the situation to the listener as best you can. You don't have to say anything that you don't want to. But remember that the person on the other end of the phone is there to help you as best they can. After you've explained what you can, the listener will explore options on how to deal with the situation in a reasonable manner.

Lovelytragedy
October 28th, 2014 3:49am

When someone calls a suicide hotline it the person on the hotline will try their best to evaluate how serious the situation is, try to talk the person out of what they are doing, or immediately call for help to go to your location.

Wilburt
October 31st, 2014 4:19am

The call operator will provide mental health first aid and help the suicidal person express themselves. If the person would like help and is not actively self-harming the operator can provide formation and support for suicidality management. If the person is actively self-harming or attempting suicide the operator can encourage/ suggest emergency services input. Hopefully the person in crisis will be in a place to accept help.

fromthesea
November 9th, 2014 12:52pm

I have never called a suicide hotline myself, but I think they'll be convinced to stay here and live this life. They'll calm you and they'll help you.

Urgarlayessica88
November 10th, 2014 10:50am

for the most part you will talk to someone that is specialize in this matter and will do as much as they can to help you over come your un ease thoughts.

Anonymous
November 18th, 2014 4:21pm

They talk with the person to determine the best plan of action. They will help get that person on the line the help they need.

Marina727
November 19th, 2014 6:09pm

Someone asks you what is going on, then listens without judging. The hotline worker will inquire about your thoughts of suicide and whether you are currently safe or need immediate assistance. If you are just having thoughts (and not currently acting on them), the worker will attempt to provide you emotional support, discuss options and ideas for how to help you cope, and possibly work on a self-care or safety plan with you. The police will not be called unless you indicate that you are in the process of a suicide attempt and not able to keep yourself safe during the conversation.

Anonymous
March 12th, 2015 7:19pm

They tell you that if it's critical then you need to call 911 or some line like that. But if it's not, they'll ask you why are you planning on doing it and things like that, so they just try to convince you not to do it. It is almost like 7CupsOfTea but they're just listeners who are more trained to deal with this specific topic. (Suicide I mean.)

LilyFlowers
May 6th, 2015 3:11am

They should be connected with someone who is supportive and helpful on the other end. Someone who they can talk to and that person can help them. I called a line for that for a school interview, and even though I wasn't at risk, he helped me a lot. Which helped me later in life when i became at risk. They can save lives.

Anonymous
May 8th, 2015 6:31pm

They will talk to you about how you feel and will advise you what to do or get you the help that you need

SimonTheGr8
July 10th, 2015 3:11pm

You are connected to someone who cares and will really listen, as we do here at 7 cups!

Sunshinegirl23
August 30th, 2015 9:52pm

When someone calls a suicide hotline a trained professional will answer the phone and talk to the person who is calling and try to see what the problem is. Advice will be given to the person who is calling and the caller will be told about mental health services within their areas. The trained professional will even look into over night facilities for the caller to help them seek further attention. In some cases when the trained professional can't help much more, this is when the police will become involved without the callers permission. It is worth calling if you think you have an issue.

PoliteOcean
September 2nd, 2015 1:16am

Anyone who calls a suicide hotline could have a different experience. Just know that they are there to help and aide one into making a choice to be and stay safe and will be there to talk when one is in a crisis situation. They will also try to get one the help they need by offering help and referrals to other places that may also help one who is in crisis.

Anonymous
September 3rd, 2015 3:00am

You are connected to a trained listener who will listen to whatever you need to say and help you get what you need.

Anonymous
September 3rd, 2015 6:46pm

They will be talking to someone on the end of the phone who will try everything to help them and calm their nerves

admirableParadise40
September 4th, 2015 8:16pm

Depending on the suicide hotline, your call may be routed to a central location or, as in the case of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, your call may be answered by the center closest to you. When you call, you'll typically hear a message confirming the number you have reached and then on-hold music until someone can answer your call. Once your call is answered, a caring and trained person will listen to you, learn about your situation, ask questions and will then generally tell you about mental health services in your area. Services in your area can range from a mobile response team to a suicide prevention center staffed with counselors where you can be accommodated overnight.

Anonymous
September 6th, 2015 3:08am

What will happen is an alive person will answer your call. They will ask you why you want to do this to yourself and if you have tried to before. Remember, it's our and their goal. To get you feeling happy and regretful of tying to kill yourself. Your life matters

coolvibes
September 9th, 2015 12:26am

when someone calls the suicide hotline a professional answers and then asks questions. The professional will listen too see exactly how they can help the person needing assistance, whether that's through immediate care; or through referral to other support. Sometimes they just chat and try to help the person work through the caller is currently experiencing.

NamelessKnight
September 10th, 2015 1:39pm

Someone that is professionally there to help you will pick up and will guide you through some simple steps in order for them to be able to help you and you will be talked to. Please note that this varies among every national and regional hotline.

Anonymous
September 11th, 2015 2:23am

They get assistance, they're able to speak to someone about their issues and hopefully make changes.

Anonymous
September 12th, 2015 3:34am

Depending on the hotline, you'll be directed to another person for direct support and if they're busy you will be on hold.

Miracle
September 12th, 2015 5:06pm

It depends very much which hotline you call. Most of the time they are answered by volunteers who know it's hard to talk, it's a little like 7cups but they are TRAINED to talk about suicidal thoughts too.

Anonymous
September 13th, 2015 12:32am

The suicide hotline answers and immediately helps the person and tries to get where they live to help them and stop them from doing what they say/feel like doing.

elizabethgmassey
September 17th, 2015 6:06am

When I called two years ago I had a life changing experience. The woman I was connected with was amazing.

Anonymous
September 17th, 2015 1:55pm

we try our best to make them comfortable enough to hang up dial 9 1 1. this is a serious topic in we are not trained to discuss with the person

Anonymous
September 17th, 2015 9:05pm

They get helped in whichever way possible. I have not had any need of their services, so I can not answer this question properly.

Anonymous
September 19th, 2015 2:55pm

When someone calls a suicide hotline they are connected to a trained operator who will assess their risk level and generally ask them to contact the emergency services if necessary. These operators are specifically trained in dealing in confidence and with delicacy with suicidal people

PriscilaOrellana
September 20th, 2015 5:39am

It means this person really knows what problem has and the help that needs. If this person calls is because don't really want to die.

Anonymous
September 23rd, 2015 7:56am

Alot of things could happen when you call a suicide hotline. A suicide hotline is very serious, there fore they will take your responses very seriously. they will most likely send out medical care if they feel you are in danger. But they are very helpful to talk to if you feel suicidal.

redapple1107
September 23rd, 2015 12:58pm

There may be a brief hold until you are connected to someone who can assist you. At that time they will ask you a random amount of open ended questions to help you communicate with them more. This allows for the person you are seeking help from to understand what is exactly going on. At that point the person from the hotline will make all possible attempts to help you through effective communication. There could be a possibility where they can contact the authorities if that situation was to rise; but you will be given resources and information toward finding a qualified therapist.

Anonymous
September 24th, 2015 9:38pm

They try talking to you. And asking questions. If you immediately need help they suggest you call 911 on yourself. Youll probably be admitted into a pysch ward.

emikee
September 26th, 2015 12:36am

Depending on the suicide hotline, your call may be routed to a central location or, as in the case of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, your call may be answered by the center closest to you. When you call, you'll typically hear a message confirming the number you have reached and then on-hold music until someone can answer your call.

ListeningOak
September 26th, 2015 4:40pm

Like 7Cups, The suicide hotline exists to provide you with the best assistance they can. The Suicide Hotline has resources better suited to the needs of someone in imminent crisis and who is a danger to themselves but it is only there to help.

Anonymous
September 27th, 2015 10:38pm

You talk with someone who cares for your safety and wants to help you talk through whatever's happening.

Anonymous
October 21st, 2015 10:37pm

When you aren't in hold anymore there will be someone kind and caring asking about your situation and trying to understand what your going through. Then they will try to tell you to go to the nearest mental health center..

Anonymous
October 22nd, 2015 6:15am

They get in contact with someone willing to help them cope with their suffering and find a way through it, preventing a catastrophic event and granting them hope and strength to carry on.

Eliz
October 22nd, 2015 3:06pm

A well trained individual will try to help you in any way he or she can. Depending on the situation, they may contact the local authorities to make sure that you have the best care possible. In any case, just know that they're there to help you. You're being strong and getting yourself help!

poofinessence
October 23rd, 2015 6:19pm

When you call a suicide hotline, they'll just talk to you. They'll try to understand why you're feeling the way you are, and try to help you calm down. When we are really thinking about attempting to kill ourselves, our brains and bodies are pretty jacked up on nervous energy, for lack of a better term :P So a suicide hotline will try to get you back to your wise mind, so you can look at the situation more rationally. It's always okay to need to talk to someone, and they are there just for that purpose. Feel free to take advantage of that service...don't ever feel bad about calling a suicide/support hotline!

Anonymous
October 24th, 2015 3:34am

A very patient and understanding person just listens to you talk about your problems to make you more calm. They ask you how you feel and if it's directed towards self harm, they will try to help as best they can.

Anonymous
October 25th, 2015 12:45am

They try and get you from a high emotional situation to a lower emotional situation. Usually, it's very helpful.

zaix
October 25th, 2015 3:21am

They will try to help you in anyway that they can, because if you are thinking suicide is the only option and get to that point, someone needs to bring you back down to earth, and back into reality, that you won't always be okay, but nothings ever going to be to hard that you need to give up.

Recent Answers
carolina555
August 9th, 2016 9:43am

When someone dials a suicide hotline,they are met by a compassionate and professional volunteer who will answer their call and support them for as long as needed.The caller may be asked questions about their mental health,given advice on how to control their thoughts or be asked to contact an ambulance. Suicide hotlines are a non-judgemental place where you can open up to somebody who has all the right resources to care and support you,

Anonymous
May 24th, 2016 1:15pm

He gets help :) Someone willl talk to him and so he is able to reduce his stress and his dispair. This hotlines are existing to help people, not to harm them

Anonymous
April 5th, 2016 3:00pm

The suicide hotline is similar to 7cups in that they offer support and encouragement. They are more specifically trained to handle suicide though.

StarryLove
February 23rd, 2016 9:42am

Their concern would be processed immediately by the counseling volunteers over the phone , and hopefully to talk things out before that certain someone do a rash thing,

Anonymous
February 12th, 2016 7:56am

The person on the line will check if the person is in danger or not, and ask about how the person is feeling. What can the person do for the caller, give positive feedbacks always and see what are the ways the listener can help very much like 7 cups of tea but we can't give personal opinions but this time round we listen to the voice physically.

fancifulPiano97
February 10th, 2016 2:04am

They are suppose to help you and make your life a lot easier than before and support you through it.

bubblingGrace29
February 6th, 2016 4:06pm

I have never called one, but I know that they try to help you and I'm assuming that they would call the police if they needed to to makes sure that you are ok.

Anonymous
February 5th, 2016 3:33pm

Once your call is answered, a caring and trained person will listen to you, learn about your situation, ask you some questions and will then generally tell you about some mental health services in your area. The goal of a suicide hotline is to help you with your personal crisis, each call is different.

CGiggles
February 2nd, 2016 10:54pm

When someone calls a suicide hotline you are reached with a local resource center and talk to a trained specialist. They will help you to find ways to stay calm and offer services in your area for further help.

CarmelBaby
January 31st, 2016 10:18pm

When someone is in crisis of need they call suicide hotline.suivide hotline help people when they like their going to hurt (self harm) their selfs and they will talk to you and guide you.Also help you feel better ☺️😌

srgtdonut
January 30th, 2016 2:25am

They will talk to you and try to give you hints on ways to feel better and will tell you its not worth it. it's never worth it.

owenlang
January 28th, 2016 1:53pm

The hotline will have a listener to help you deal with the problems you may be facing and also may help you get back on track again. They will talk with you about how you're feeling and what your main struggles are.

Anonymous
January 28th, 2016 6:16am

When somebody calls a suicide hotline they are generally directed to a live person who asks them if they are in need of immediate help or just need someone to talk to. The operator will direct them to other hotlines after this.

Anonymous
January 28th, 2016 4:06am

When a suicide hotline is called, the operator does the same that everyone here does. They talk to you and listen. try to understand your situation and give you better and more healthy suggestions on what you should do.

SilentSerenityy
January 27th, 2016 1:04pm

I've never rang one but you get connected with a professional who can talk to you about how you're feeling and hopefully persuade you not to commit suicide. Many people benefit from ringing them.

Santana
January 24th, 2016 7:50pm

When people are in a crisis, where they are considering taking their own lives, it's critical that they reach out to a resource such as a suicide hotline. However, many people are scared of calling a suicide hotline as they aren't sure what will happen if they do call. This fear might keep some people away. Understanding what happens when you call a suicide hotline can help ease your worries and make reaching out to one easier.

MrShyListener
January 22nd, 2016 3:55am

They are connected with a call line helper who is trained to talk to people in crisis. They will listen to you and be supportive. During the call they will aim to help you improve your state of mind to a place where you are no longer in crisis, or are dealing with your crisis. They do not judge and they serve only in your best interests.

Anonymous
January 21st, 2016 2:39pm

When somebody calls a suicide hotline, they wait for a short period, before being connected with a highly trained crisis specialist.

ughhitshaley
January 21st, 2016 8:09am

Depending on the suicide hotline, your call may be routed to a central location or, as in the case of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, your call may be answered by the center closest to you. When you call, you'll typically hear a message confirming the number you have reached and then on-hold music until someone can answer your call.

kindDreamer93
January 10th, 2016 2:01pm

A suicidal hotline should maintain your confidentiality unless they think you may be at risk or harm to yourself or others as they can break confidentiality to help you, a suicidal hotline will put you onto a listiner that will try and help you through what you're feeling.

Anonymous
January 10th, 2016 2:36am

The person talks to you and helps you with your problems. They try to show you many reasons to live, and why it's okay to feel sad, but it's only temporary

Kelleyd83
January 9th, 2016 10:07pm

First they find out your area code in case it's an emergency situation and they have to call an ambulance. Then you talk to a very nice, very understanding and empathetic professional who cares deeply for your well-being and safety. They ask if you have a plan or if you've ever tried in the past to get some information. Then you talk to them about how you're feeling and try to resolve the issue so you don't have to go to the hospital. But if you don't feel safe, they'll call an ambulance, or a cab, or get you to the nearest hospital to talk to a crisis team.

Anonymous
January 8th, 2016 4:58pm

I have no clue to be honest.i never had to sue one, since I have managed to deal with all my problems by myself.

Anonymous
January 8th, 2016 3:12pm

Basically what happens is you will be connected to people who are more than willing to help you and talk you out of the suicidal thoughts. If you are feeling suicidal they might ask if you want them to call the police. If you hang up and they believe that you are going to commit suicide then they have the right to contact the police.

Zer0Carter
January 8th, 2016 1:07am

A trained person will answer the phone and talk to you, and after you talk about your situation, they'll refer you to mental help services in your area.

Reid3020
January 6th, 2016 10:21pm

As far as I'm aware the operator will try and talk you through what you're going through, and why you are feeling that way. But as far as I'm aware they aren't responsible for telling you what you can and cannot do - that is down to you at the end of the day. Sometimes they may send medical assistance to you if you give your address ect.

Itisreal
January 6th, 2016 9:08pm

When you call a suicide hotline you talk to someone who understand that you are in a lot of distress, they dont just tell you to "dont kill yourself", but instead they calm you down and discuss your options with you. Do you need an ambulance? Do you need a doctor to come by your house and talk to you? Either way, unless you hang up on them, they will not leave you until they are sure that you're either getting help, are calm or able to get help yourself.

TheDeadlyCake
January 6th, 2016 7:59am

The operator asses the current risk to the caller and takes any appropriate action to ensure their safety. They listen and they help connect the caller to the support they need.

kaitykait
January 6th, 2016 4:09am

If you call a suicide hotline, you will be able to talk to a professional who can talk you through your thoughts. They will not call your parents or anything, it's a total anonymous thing.

igetcha
January 6th, 2016 3:10am

I have a friend who works at 1. They listen without judging and help the person talk through why they're feeling that way & ask if there's anything they can do to help. They help the person find reasons they want to live & they genuinely try to do anything they can to make the person's situation better by offering various resources. They don't alert the police unless the person says they're gonna do something right then & they can't talk them down.

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