The Suicide Hotline

posted 4 months ago in The Lounge
  • poll: What is your experience with calling the suicide hotline?
    Mostly postitive : (3 votes)
    43 %
    Mostly negative : (2 votes)
    29 %
    Only positive : (0 votes)
    Only negative : (2 votes)
    29 %
  • Post # 2
    666 posts
    Busy bee

    I have found an app to be more helpful honestly – it checks in with me every day and asks me how I am and based on that offers practical advice. There were some calls to Samaritans that made me feel worse

    Post # 4
    666 posts
    Busy bee

    peekaboobs :  Serenity Chat through Facebook, it doesn’t cost anything but it’s just a bot

    Post # 5
    4366 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    My friend works for the Samaritans and they’re not allowed to offer advice. They’re not allowed to try to talk you out of it either. They can ask questions like “how did that make you feel?” etc but the “mhm” is part of their training: “verbal cuddles”. Sometimes people call to say “I’ve done XYZ to take my own life but I don’t want to be alone. Will you stay on the line until I’m no longer here” and they can’t say “you should call an ambulance” or anything. As for the church, that’s not ok. Not in the UK at least.

    Post # 6
    666 posts
    Busy bee

    ladyartichoke :  they told me they would have to hang up if I was actively trying to hurt myself,that wasn’t very helpful (although I was just upset and not at that point)

    Post # 7
    8727 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    peekaboobs : In order to volunteer as a crisis counselor for lifeline here in Australia you have to undertake accreditation and there is further accreditation for suicide prevention and domestic violence. A high number of volunteers are students studying psychology/behavioural sciences.

    The other main helpline, beyondblue, does not take volunteers for telephone counselling and only employs people with relevant qualifications. We also have kidshelpline which is run in the same way. It is highly regulated here.

    We also have advisory lines which people often confuse as places they can go to for counseling services. They basically are just there to point you in the direction of services. 

    Post # 8
    5179 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: December 2014

    peekaboobs :  That whole praying thing really pisses me off. What an idiot. I understand that that might help someone who actually is religious, but when he said he didn’t want to pray it should have ended there, not with some high and mighty faith bullshit.

    My husband called the veteran suicide hotline once for a friend. His friend, who lives in another state, texted him a big paragraph at like 4 in the morning sounding like he had taken something or was going to hurt himself, then wouldn’t answer the phone. Darling Husband was freaking out and didn’t know what to do. He called the hotline, thinking they could reach out to him or arrange a wellness check (DH didn’t know his address, but he was receiving VA care at the time). They do advertise as being for concerned loved ones as well. The guy on the phone wasn’t helpful at all. He seemed more interested in asking Darling Husband if he was ok, asking if he was suicidal, and giving him information on resources for himself. He finally just got pissed at the guy for wasting his time when his friend could have been dying. Luckily, his friend was ok and hadn’t actually done anything, he was drunk and passed out after sending the concerning message. 

    Post # 9
    217 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2008

    They were ok. The woman I spoke to wasn’t really professional at all. But in the end…i didn’t kill myself

    Post # 10
    9230 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2010

    peekaboobs :  

    My very first job in the mental health field was on a crisis hotline, which included suicide intervention.  We had excellent training.  This was many years ago, long before technology was as advanced as it is today.  So a big part of our focus was to keep the person on the line long enough for a coworker to contact the police who could order a line trace.  That was done via the oh-so-sophisticated mechanism of slipping a note to the person next to you.

    The thing we had to keep foremost in our minds is that, although we all must always take any talk of suicide seriously, a person calling a suicide line really does not want to die.  They are not seeing another way out of their agony at that moment, but on some level, they want to live.  They just want the pain to stop.



    Post # 11
    1506 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    sassy411 :  I was going to say about the state people are in when they call and whether it being named the Suicide Hotline is the best name? I assume the vast majority of people don’t call when they have decided how they want to die and are about to go through with their attempt.

    I’m in the UK so a bit different. Having been  depressed (not suicidal) due to chronic insomnia many years ago I was given the number of a regional crisis line to call. I wanted to just ‘not be here’ I didn’t want to kill myself but I was desperate for help and all the NHS would offer was six group therapy sessions with a 3 month waiting list. Zolpidem/ Ambien was awful for me and obviously not a long term solution anyway. After 3 consecutive nights of no sleep and starting to worry about losing my job I rang the crisis line and spoke to a nurse. She said “goodness, when I get home I put my feet up and put the TV on and don’t get past five minutes before I’m asleep. I love my sleep! You definitelty need to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep.” I reiterated that I COULDN’T SLEEP and she said “oh you will if you are sleepy. There’s nothing else I can say but I’m required to tell you that if you need immediate help then go to accident and emergency at nearest hospital.” I remember the conversation clearly many years on.

    Luckily things improved over time. I still have insomnia but no way near as bad. I paid to see a therapist privately. I don’t have experience with the Samaritans here. I know they can only call an ambulance or police if you have given them your address but I guess most people won’t do that. It’s great that people take on these jobs though. An acquaintance has volunteered for the Samaritans for many years and she finds it extrememely draining but she doesn’t want to stop. Most of the time it’s people wanting to talk to someone and people who should really have access to better MH services that are hugely underfunded by the NHS.


    Post # 12
    9230 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2010

    EllyAnne :  

    Geeze.  It’s really disheartening to hear how many terrible experience people have had with crisis intervention services.  Our facility was actually full service, we did in person counseling, legal services via our volunteer attorney panel, and phone counseling. We asked for donations and our long term counseling clients were charged on a sliding scale, which could be as low as $2 a session. Some of our crisis intervention was with people who just walked in the door, but the bulk of it was by phone.

    All of us were thoroughly trained in suicide intervention and had backgrounds in psychology.  Our supervisors all had at least masters degrees. 

    It was a very good facility, I really loved my time there and learned so much.

    Post # 13
    137 posts
    Blushing bee

    I am in South Africa. I was in a very bad place in 2011, and I called the suicide hotline for help. The lady on the line was so impatient and sounded fed-up with me talking. Of course I did not end up doing something to myself, even though there were when I did consider it – As a Med student at the time, I had access to meds, to scalpels, to tall buildings….I just had to pick one method. And I had hoped to just have someone to talk to, to listen to me, someone anonymous so that I would not feel judged. (At the time I was in counselling as well, but that woman was not helpful – her suggestion for when I was feeling overwhelmed with stress: to breathe and imagine I am in a garden breathing the smells of the flowers when there was a garden right there where she could have suggested I take a walk and look at and smell real flowers. My brain just simply could not get her)

    Fast forward to 2013 or so. I was at a different university, and something from the past came back to haunt me. So I went to the student support place. That place was not helpful either – the waiting list was really long, and since I was not deemed to be a threat to myself, I was brushed off and would have had to wait for weeks for help. I never went back. 

    2018: I am working, and there has been drama left, right and centre. I am not coping, but after having been burnt so many times by people who were supposed to help me(The above two incidents were the major ones, there were other ones that occurred that involved people who were supposed to help me) I do not know what to do. I do not want to call that hotline again – I don’t want to be brushed off again. My classroom is on the top floor of the building, and just the other day, I was sitting in the classroom, and I had this urge to jump out the window, or to just go over the balcony, then I won’t need to be at that school anymore, and face all the drama there. I have a counsellor’s phone number, but I keep chickening out of calling her to make an appointment. I just cannot face being brushed off again. 

    peekaboobs :  Sorry for threadjacking! I went off topic – the words just came out…. 

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