Do suicide hotlines help?

Suicide hotlines can save lives. The Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA) website recommends the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. You can usually find local emergency suicide numbers in the front of your telephone book (sources for other local, state, and national hotlines and suicide services are listed in Appendix A, Resources). Here’s a list of reasons to call a hotline:

• If you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself
• If your doctor and therapist are unavailable
• To get referrals for doctors and therapists if you do not have one
• If you are concerned that someone else may be in danger

Unfortunately, hotlines cannot come into your home and take the pills from your hand. If you are in danger of killing yourself, have a responsible friend or family member stay with you. They should be close enough to see and hear you, and prepared to talk or just sit quietly. Just the presence of someone who cares is a reminder of why you keep on living.