Mental illness affects millions of people worldwide every year, making life challenging for the affected individuals and their families. Getting timely help can keep mental health issues from becoming severe and affecting your quality of life. Thankfully, many services offer help to individuals suffering from mental health problems. A mental health helpline such as an anxiety helpline is a good example of a mental health helpline.
Below, we’ve explained the mechanism and use of mental health helplines:
When you call a mental health helpline, you will talk to a counselor who has undergone some training and is equipped to offer some form of psychosocial support. The counselor may be a volunteer or a paid staff member working part-time or full time. You can speak freely and communicate your qualms without fear of being judged or reprimanded. The counselor will then support you by offering information and clarity on the issue. If the situation calls for, you may be referred to experts or other services (such as child protection).
When the call begins, the counselor will introduce themselves and let you know how long the call will last. You will then be asked what name you’d like to be addressed by. A query about your general location will likely follow this if a referral needs to be made. It is up to you if you want to disclose your real name or location, but rest assured that most helplines keep your information private and confidential.
Remember that helplines exist precisely to offer support. It’s impractical to expect one call to fix all your issues. Many mental illnesses require long-term face-to-face therapy, and rehabilitation sessions and helplines aren’t substitutes for medical interventions. They are there to offer you clarity about your predicament and refer you to relevant professionals, such as physiatrists, to help you further.
Remember that the person at the other end of the line is a professional, and you have to treat them as such. Be sure to maintain some formality, refrain from lashing out at them, abusing them, or making inappropriate comments. Also, don’t call them up to chide your spouse about their spending habits or tell your kids to listen to your instructions. They are trained to offer support, not dictate how others should lead their lives.
You should call a mental health helpline if you think or know you suffer from mental health issues and need help. Helplines can also give you assistance on how to help those you know are affected. The counselor will give you ample information about the illness in question and guide you to relevant resources to learn more. They will also let you know potential treatment options, what to expect in each case, and where to get treated close to your location. Most importantly, helplines are there to navigate you through emergencies, such as suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, or psychotic breakdowns.