Have you ever needed someone to talk to but felt like you had no one? Maybe you’ve been through something you felt ashamed of and wanted a listening ear, but didn’t feel comfortable reaching out to a parent, friend, or peer because you feared judgment.
I know it might feel silly or intimidating at first, but calling a hotline or visiting a resource website might be a great tool for you. Some useful resources like hotlines and websites can provide you with information, services, or someone to talk to. If talking over the phone is not your cup of tea, there are also options to email or text when you need support. The resources are based on specific issues you might be facing. Reaching out can be scary, but it is the bravest thing you can do for yourself.
As a volunteer for Teenline, a teen-to-teen crisis and suicide hotline, where I spoke with teens over the phone who endured a myriad of different types of crises, I had the opportunity to learn about the various specialized hotlines and resources that exist. There are thousands of different types of resources out there– some dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, some to victims of bullying, child abuse, or sexual assault, some to individuals battling different mental health struggles, and more. A majority of these resources are confidential, which means the person you speak to won’t tell anyone about the conversation you had unless you are hurting yourself or someone else, or someone is hurting you.
Here are some valuable specialized resources:
Specialty: Anything! Suicidal ideation, self-harm, bullying, child abuse, depression, anxiety, relationship, friend or family struggles, and more.
Description: Maybe I’m biased to say Teenline is the most incredible organization on the face of the earth because working there has changed my life in the best way possible, but it truly is wonderfully unique in the best way possible. What’s cool about it is that it’s a teen-to-teen crisis hotline, so if you’re a teen, you’ll be talking to a trained person who is around the same age as you. They get the struggles of high school, friend drama, relationship drama, and other teen-related hardships. They get it.
- Call: (310) 855 – HOPE (from 8PM CST – 12AM CST)
- Text: Text “TEEN” to 839863 (from 8PM CST – 12AM CST)
- Message Board: On message boards, ask other teens questions, read board posts from other teen users
Specialty: Suicide Prevention— If you are suicidal, or are having suicidal ideations, reach out to this lifeline. You can talk to a trained individual who can offer you emotional support and resources.
- Call: 1-800-273-8255 (open 24/7)
Specialty: The Trevor Project offers suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ individuals under the age of 25.
- Call: 1-866-488-7386 (open 24/7)
- Text: Text “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200 (Thursdays and Fridays 3pm (CST) to 6pm (CST))
Specialty: Offers support and care to victims of domestic abuse and violence. The RAINN hotline can assist victims in finding health facilities in their area, provide emotional support, tell you about the reporting laws in your area, discuss medical concerns with you, and more.
- Call: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) to be connected to a RAINN affiliate in your area. Open 24/7.
Specialty: NEDA is a valuable resource to use if you are looking for emotional support with an eating disorder. NEDA can also refer you to eating disorder treatment providers based on your location.
- Call: (800) 931-2237 (Monday-Thursday 10am (CST) – 8pm (CST) or Friday 10am (CST) – 4pm (CST))
Specialty: Tulane offers a mental health service known as CAPS. With CAPS, you can make an appointment with the counseling center. CAPS also offers workshops. You can call The Line, which is a hotline that offers crisis support.
- Call: (504) 264-6074 (open 24/7)
- Text: (504) 264-6074 (open 24/7)
- Make an appointment with CAPS: Call (504) 314-2277 to make a counseling center appointment with CAPS
A quick Google search can find you thousands of other reliable resources. You are not alone. You deserve to be listened to. Your feelings are important. Hotlines like these are there to listen to you and support you. You deserve that.
Cover photo: Graphic by Olivia O’Connor