Need Mental Health Help But You Aren’t In Crisis? Try A ‘Warmline’

You may have read our article about the designation of 988 as the three-digit dialing code to route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Using this number gives callers access to trained counselors who can help if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, substance use disturbances, or other mental health crises. Through the hotline, assistance is always available, 24/7 from anywhere in the U.S. But what would you do if you’re not in crises? You may not feel suicidal and therefore feel that you don’t need the hotline. But you may be struggling with a difficult situation and want to talk to someone. Perhaps you don’t want to worry your family members. Or maybe you need an impartial person to discuss your concerns with. What are your options? You could call your primary care physician and ask for a referral to see a therapist. You could use the employee assistance program (EAP) available through your employer to find a therapist. Or you could use what’s known as “warmlines.”  Like the 988 Lifeline, the service is also free. Warmlines are staffed by trained, certified peer specialists who understand what it’s like to struggle with mental health issues. This article explains the benefits of using warmlines, how they work (so you know what to expect) and how you can utilize them. The article indicates that a hotline or emergency room is best “if you’re suicidal or in immediate crisis, while a stressful day at work might be more appropriate for a warmline.” Keep in mind that no matter who you are or how you’re feeling, you deserve help. You are not a bother. You are worth helping. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Help is available. People are waiting just help you or someone you know who may need help.

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