The Importance of National Mental Health Hotlines

The Importance of National Mental Health Hotlines

Knowing how to talk to your friends about depression can be an overwhelming process. The initial discomfort of talking to your friends about depression is worth overcoming because it can often lead to high rewards. Connecting with friends can be an integral part of getting out of a depressive state. Talking to your friends about depression will usually strengthen your connection with others and can help provide you with an authentic community. If you can’t talk to your friends, recognize the importance of national mental health hotlines.

Mental health struggles require support from others. While friends and family are integral, their strong emotional attachment and lack of training can cloud their advice and hinder their ability to sufficiently help in a moment of crisis. National mental health hotlines provide trained, unbiased volunteers and mental health professionals who offer empathy and defuse crisis situations.

Many people have a need for self-sufficiency which has created a culture where people are so afraid to appear vulnerable, they often don’t ask for help. Reaching out for help does not reveal weakness. It requires tremendous courage and strength to supply yourself with the tools to cope with your mental health struggles. National mental health hotlines provide a safe space and the resources to help people get through moments of crisis. 

Mental Health is A National Struggle

While discussing depression and mental health, it’s important to remember that many cases are left unreported and untreated. Even with the limited data provided, a report from Our World in Data revealed that 264 million people worldwide suffered from depression in 2017. It is dangerous to leave depression untreated. Not only is living with depression a crippling disability, but it can also lead to self-harm and suicide.

Depression

Depression is a common mood disorder that alters how you feel, think, and function. It’s often assumed that depression stems from an imbalance in the brain’s chemicals. While this can be true, it is also an oversimplification to state this as the only or the universal cause of depression. There are a multitude of factors that can cause depression, including stressful life events, medications, and medical problems.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “In 2017 an estimated 11 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment. This number represented 4.5% of all U.S. adults.” National mental health hotlines are not exclusively for those contemplating suicide; they benefit anyone going through an emotional crisis.

National mental health hotlines are equipped to address substance abuse and other mental health struggles that may be contributing to depression. According to mentalhelp.net, “Depression has a high rate of co-occurrence with both anxiety (up to 60%) and substance use disorders.” National mental health hotlines want you to be seen, heard, and understood.

If you’re unsure if you’re symptoms are caused by depression, please refer to our guide on how to know if you’re depressed as a resource. Please keep in mind that our guide does not serve as a substitute for mental health treatment. If you’re still uncertain and would like to talk to someone, you can call a national mental health hotline.

Suicide

While not all depressive disorders lead to suicide, the two are linked. According to Mental Health America, “More years of life are lost to suicide than to any other single cause except heart disease and cancer.” If you’re experiencing suicidal feelings but aren’t contemplating taking immediate action for hurting yourself, you should call a suicide hotline.  If you are considering taking immediate action to hurt or kill yourself, you should go to your nearest Emergency Room or call 911.

Suicide’s devastating results can be seen in the public spectrum. Many beloved public figures such as Kate Spade and Robin Williams have been lost to suicide. The lead singer of Old 97’s, Rhett Miller, has spoken candidly about his struggles with mental health and his previous suicide attempt. “I was able to come through it and carve out a life I love . . . I’m so glad that there are people out there like the Suicide Prevention Lifeline who want to talk about it and want to let you know that there’s hope because that can be enough and it’s a beautiful thing and you’re going to make it through.”

Those who are at a higher risk of suicide should take extra precautions and reach out for support early. Common risk factors include previous suicide attempts, substance abuse, a family history of mental illness, chronic diseases, stressful life events, terminal illness, as well as feelings of isolation, hopelessness, worthlessness, and social isolation. According to UC Santa Cruz, “Talking about the possibility of suicide can alleviate the loneliness of the struggle and can be a first step in obtaining help.” We need to reject the idea that talking about suicide encourages suicidal tendencies when the opposite is true. Talking about suicide frees those struggling with thoughts of death from their isolation reminding them that there are people who can and want to help.

A Variety of National Mental Health Hotlines Are Available

Crisis Text Line: 741741

Crisis Text Line is a national mental health hotline for those who cannot speak on the phone or are uncomfortable doing so. Their free crisis intervention is provided through SMS messages and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their Crisis Counselors are trained volunteers capable of providing support but not medical advice. Crisis Text Line handles every type of crisis, not just suicide.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service (TTY). It serves as an excellent resource to those seeking further, in-person assistance by referring people to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. The SAMHSA’s National Helpline’s free, confidential services are available 24 hours on every day of the year. Additionally, you can also use their online treatment locator.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline provides emotional support and guidance to those in distress both over the phone and via chat services. They have a multitude of options for those with hearing impairment including: their online chat, video relay services (dial 800-273-8255), TTY (Dial 800-799-4889), or voice/caption phone (dial 800-273-8255).

Click here for more mental health resources.

Mid City TMS is Available

We encourage anyone experiencing a crisis to seek the immediate attention of a national mental health hotline. Our office is also available as a resource for coping with and treating anxiety and depression. The treatment services Mid City TMS provides improves the lives of those suffering with these disorders by acting as an effective long-term remedy. We want to help you or your loved one recover from depression or anxiety. Contact us today and let us help you get freedom from depression and anxiety.

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