Types of Help
There are several different types of help that are available for people who are concerned about suicide or other forms of mental distress. There is emergency assistance and there is immediate assistance; some help in the form of self-care and others are for ongoing care and assistance. Below is a short description of types of services and what each type of service can provide. It is not a complete list of services but serves as a starting point as you try and determine the next best steps.
Emergency Help: Hospital Emergency Room, Police 911
If you are concerned about immediate self-harm or harm to someone else, emergency services should be accessed. If you feel safe enough for travel, you can go directly to the closest hospital emergency room. If you are accompanying a person with suicidal intent, inform the hospital staff that the person is thinking about suicide. If you can’t travel or don’t feel safe traveling, call 911 and request emergency assistance to be brought to your location.
Immediate Help: Suicide Crisis Line or Crisis Hotline
When experiencing a severe emotional crisis or thoughts of self-harm or when you’re concerned about another and are seeking assistance, this is an immediate service for you to call. It is a step down from a request for emergency assistance but could result in emergency assistance being requested. A suicide crisis line or hot line is a very helpful resource in those circumstances where you would like to talk to someone immediately about suicide or other emotional crisis. This serviced is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are crisis lines for special populations, such as LGBT populations, hearing or speech impaired individuals, veterans, or Spanish-speaking persons. Please see the listing of these local or national crisis hotlines adjacent to this page.
Counseling is based on a supportive and contractual relationship offered to a client by a counselor. A counselor is professionally trained to assist you or someone you know deal with concerns, challenges and crises in a manner that is personally empowering and meaningful. During this process, you will be taught more effective ways of coping to bring positive change to your life. Your counselor is bound to follow the principles of confidentiality and may encourage you to work with a psychiatrist or family doctor if medication or further hospitalization is required.
Psychiatric or Behavioral Health care Unit or Hospital
If you are in need of more specialized help, hospitalization is an option. This can occur on a unit in a general hospital or at a hospital that is devoted only to serving people with behavioral health care needs.
In the event that you cannot find access to a mental health professional, your family doctor could be a good resource and may be able to assist you.