Calling the Lifeline
What do I do if I have trouble connecting when I call?
We work hard to make sure that everyone can reach a crisis center as quickly as possible. If you call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and are having trouble reaching a crisis worker, please let us know using our Contact Us form (available in the left sidebar). If you are in a medical emergency or suicidal crisis and you cannot connect, please call 911.
Does the Lifeline feature TTY services for the hearing impaired?
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has TTY capability, which can be accessed by calling 1-800-799-4TTY (4889).
Is the Lifeline available in other languages for non-English speakers?
Yes. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a Spanish Language line at 1-888-628-9454. We also provide the Tele-Interpreters service to our crisis centers, which supports over 150 languages.
Can the Lifeline and the Veterans Crisis Line also be reached by dialing 1-800-SUICIDE?
Yes. All calls from 1-800-SUICIDE have been routed through the Lifeline network since March 2007. Callers to 1-800-SUICIDE are now being routed through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's network of over 140 crisis centers across the nation, the same network that responds to 800-273-TALK callers in crisis.
Will the Lifeline number appear on my phone bill?
Whether the Lifeline phone number will appear on your phone bill depends on your phone carrier. Please contact your phone carrier to ask how 1-800 toll-free numbers will appear on your phone bill.
Is the Lifeline service still available in a state or an area that does not have a crisis center participating in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network?
Yes, the Lifeline itself covers all areas of the country, even if there is no local crisis center participating in that area. It is our goal to have calls answered as locally as possible, so we are working on developing relationships in areas where there are no crisis centers in the network.
How do you determine which area each National Suicide Prevention Lifeline crisis center serves?
Each of the crisis centers that participate in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline informs us of their capabilities in terms of number of phone lines, staffing, and geographic coverage areas, which helps in the development of the routing plan. Crisis centers are not asked to cover areas they do not feel capable of covering. Many provide services in their direct areas as well as statewide or nationwide, while others may serve local counties and provide backup for a neighboring crisis center.
Who should use the Lifeline Chat program?
Anyone who is depressed, going through a hard time, needs to talk, or is thinking about suicide can use the chat. The chat counselors are here to listen and support you through whatever difficult times you may be facing.
What should I expect during a Lifeline Chat session?
Our goal is to help you reduce stress and feel empowered to make healthy decisions. You will be asked questions regarding your safety, feelings, social situation, and if you have any thoughts of suicide. If a chat counselor feels you are in danger they will speak with you about accessing emergency services, and/or gather additional contact information to ensure your safety. The chat counselor will work with you to create a safety plan if necessary.
When is Lifeline Chat available?
The Lifeline Chat service is available 24/7. If all chat counselors are busy assisting other visitors, you will be asked to try the chat again in a half hour. If you have trouble connecting to the chat service we encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Are all Lifeline Chat communications secure and confidential?
The confidentiality and security of chats are ensured through the Lifeline chat software provider, which uses the same encryption and data protection standards required by major financial institutions to transact business with each other. All of your communications are securely encrypted from your computer to ours.
Is the Lifeline Facebook Chat confidential?
If a user is reported to Facebook for posting suicidal content, the content is reviewed by the Facebook Safety Team. If appropriate, Facebook will respond directly to the user via e-mail indicating that someone on Facebook is concerned about their safety and encourage the user to call the Lifeline and/or enter a confidential chat session with a crisis counselor. If the user chooses to enter chat, he or she will be redirected to a site hosted by the Lifeline. Security controls, including encryption and authentication, are in place to ensure the protection of any information submitted via chat. Additionally, the user who is given the opportunity to chat does not have to disclose any identifying information.
Promoting or Joining the Lifeline
Can I use the Lifeline logo in my campaign/website/poster?
Absolutely! Lifeline is a public service and our logo is available for anyone to use. You do not need to ask for permission, though we ask that you do not alter the logo in any way. Please visit our Media Resources page or click the Download Logos button in the left sidebar to get logos.
Do you have Lifeline brochures or pamphlets that I can order?
Yes. Lifeline brochures, wallet cards, and other print materials can be ordered through the SAMHSA website at www.store.samhsa.gov. PDF versions are also available at the SAMHSA website. All orders must be placed via the SAMHSA store -- The Lifeline does not take brochure orders or ship print materials directly.
Can I link to the Lifeline website through my organization's website or my personal website?
We encourage all organizations interested in promoting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide a link to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org on their own websites. Logos are available on our Media Resources page.
How can our crisis center or mental health service organization join the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network?
Consideration for joining the network is based on a number of factors. Our goal is to have sufficient coverage and capacity by crisis centers in the network so that callers may be routed to local crisis centers that will provide crisis intervention, information, and referral according to callers' needs. Visit the Join the Network page to learn more.
How do I volunteer or get a job at the Lifeline?
The Lifeline is made up of a national network of crisis centers. We encourage you to reach out to your local Lifeline-networked crisis center for volunteer or employment opportunities. Visit the Participate page to learn more, or visit the Our Network page to find your local center.
Can I volunteer to work on the Lifeline’s Facebook Chat?
The Lifeline Facebook Chat is fully staffed, but please visit the Our Network page to find your local crisis center and contact them about volunteer opportunities in your area.