Suicide Hotlines, Warmlines, and E-mail “lines”
When I was 19-years-old, I nearly killed myself. On multiple occasions. I would even make passive attempts like walking alone on windy, shoulder-less back roads in Pennsylvania. I could not see any reason to go on. My life up until then felt pointless and I didn’t see how it could get any better.
Fortunately, I had some friends who saw things differently and who forced me to get help. Eventually, that help worked and I got much better.
If you feel like you don’t have anyone you can talk to about how you’re feeling or if you’re just not able to talk to the people around you about your suicidal thoughts, here are some numbers you can call.
In the United States: 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) or 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
In the UK: 08457 90 90 90 or visit http://www.befrienders.org/
These people should be willing to talk to you (or connect you with someone local to talk to) even if you’re not actually on the verge of committing suicide, you’re just thinking about it or feeling like your life is hopeless. If they’re not, then that’s their fault and does not reflect on your decision to call them.
To find a more local group, try this page for state resources or Google your State plus “warm line.” Warm lines are for non-immediate crises. They’re not 24/7, but they can make you feel less guilty about calling (which is a problem I struggled with) and can help you find local mental health assistance.
I put one suicide line and my local warm line in my phone on speed dial, just in case.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone and aren’t in an immediate crisis but still need someone to talk to about your depression, you can correspond by e-mail with someone at Samaritans using this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (these e-mails will be answered by a real person, so there can be a delay). These people can also help you find someone local to talk to.
Consider reading my reflection post on why I’m glad I didn’t kill myself. Honestly, if I were my 19-year-old self I don’t know if I’d listen to anything that my 23-year-old self wrote in that post. But what I wrote 4 years later is true, I look at all of those things–tiny to huge–and am glad that I’m still alive.