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Depression and Suicide If you or a loved one is feeling depressed or suicidal, you are not alone. Talk with other users about your feelings here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Question Questions about helplines? - January 14th 2013, 03:28 AM

A couple days ago I needed help and considered using a help line but I was afraid they were going to get my location and send police and ambulance and all those things even if I said I wasn't going to do anything. I've never called a helpline and I'm not quite sure how they work. Do they just listen or do they give me advice? Do they just ask if I'm suicidal and then send medics and such? Do they just refer me to therapists and councelors and such? Can they later trace my call and do something that isn't nessesary? I'm afraid to call a helpline now that I need it.


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Re: Questions about helplines? - January 14th 2013, 03:42 AM

Hey!

I think different helplines do things differently but I never used one or looked into one so I'm not completely sure. I guess you could call one and not say anything about suicidal thoughts and just tell them about what's troubling you in life, how you feel about it. Just your issues in general and they should listen and try to give you advice.

However, if you say you are thinking of suicide then it is definitely possible that they may trace it and try to help you. Isn't that better than actually going through with suicide though? It'd save your life and one day you'd be thankful.

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Re: Questions about helplines? - January 14th 2013, 05:23 AM

By law counselors, teachers & medical staff have to report if a minor is at risk of harm.
Since counselors are the main people working in hotlines/helplines then yes they will tell someone.
if you say you are suicidal at that exact moment (even if you don't specify a method,time or place) they WILL tell someone. If they operate by phone lines they usually have a button that redirects your call so it's like a three way calling conversation between you, the police and the counselor. If they suspect that you are suicidal then they'll probably ask the supervisor first if they aren't 100% sure. They don't even have to tell you if they are going to contact anyone, If you mention suicide they will generally keep talking to you until police and a paramedic arrive so they know you're safe. Overall the best thing to do would probably be to ask the counselor on the other end of the phone line what their duty of care or confidentiality policy is before telling them anything.

Everything I just wrote may vary between the different Helplines/Hotlines But I am sure that they will tell someone if you are an immediate risk to yourself and they can redirect the call to the police who can trace it during your call.


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Re: Questions about helplines? - January 14th 2013, 11:25 AM

All helplines are different. Generally, they stay on the phone with you for how long you need them to and they just allow you to talk to them. They might ask questions about things you say so they can understand and to help you keep talking. They're there to listen to you. They're there to support you and a lot will give you advice like trying to distract yourself, talking to your doctor and so on.

If you ring a helpline which is made for adults, foe example here in England we have Samaritans, then they wouldn't break confidentiality unless you had told them you've overdosed and you need medical help and normally, they tend to talk to you about it first and ask for your permission. They wouldn't contact the police if you said something like you had urges to self harm or you had suicidal thoughts but they would simply try to support you through it. It's what they're there for.

On the other hand, if you contact a helpline which is for under 18 year olds, for example here in England we have childline, and you were expressing thoughts of suicide and they felt you were at risk/harm, they would contact the police because you're still a child and they have a duty of care towards you. Does that make sense? I've spoken to them when I've been suicidal but because I didn't have plans etc, they just spoke to me about it. When they once knew I had a stash of pills, they contacted the police so it really depends on the situation and if you're at immediate risk or not.

However, if you're unsure about the confidentiality, ask the helpline before you talk to them. But don't let it get in the way of you getting help, okay?

Hope you're well,
Jessie


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Re: Questions about helplines? - January 14th 2013, 12:23 PM

Hey there,

All helplines work differently. When I called the suicide hotline, she asked me what was going on and how she could help me, and allowed me to vent out my problems. One of the first things I asked was if she would have to coll the the police, and she said no. They normally keep things that are said while on the phone confidential unless they have a reason to break that confidentiality, such as if you said you needed to get medical help instantly. I know that mine asked if I wanted her to call the police and she said no. Like Jessie said, the best thing you can do is ask the specific helpline their rules on confidentiality before you start talking in depth with them if you are unsure. They are there to support you after all, so I think that as long as you weren't in serious danger, they wouldn't call.

But, I think that it is really worth it for you to call them when you need it and just work out your problems. It can really benefit you a lot. You have a lot of courage for considering it, so be proud!

Hang in there!

-Dez


   
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Re: Questions about helplines? - January 14th 2013, 01:50 PM

It tends to depend on the hotline, but if you're not in urgent danger, there's little reason for them to call anyone. Some hotlines purposefully do NOT have any caller ID or tracing mechanisms, as the law obviously can't require them to use something they do not have (and hence, they would be more protective of your data). Some, however, DO trace calls when they feel you're in danger. Whatever happens, though, it's just for your health and safety.


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last updated on 11/11/17
   
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