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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Faq


Calling Lifeline


Lifeline Chat


Facebook Chat


Getting Involved


Joining the Lifeline Network of Crisis Centers


Calling Lifeline

    1. 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 contact us. If you are in a medical emergency or suicidal crisis and you cannot connect, please call 911.

    1. Does the Lifeline feature TTY services for the hearing impaired?

      The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has TTY capability via one of our national call centers, which can be accessed by calling 1-800-799-4TTY (4889). Additionally, more than 25 local crisis centers in the network can accept TTY calls directly.

    1. Is the Lifeline available in other languages for non-English speakers?

      Yes. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a Spanish Language line - 1-888-628-9454. We also provide the Tele-Interpreters service to our crisis centers - so that we can support over 150 languages.

    1. Can the Lifeline and the Veterans Crisis Line also be reached by dialing 1-800-SUICIDE?

      All calls from 1-800-SUICIDE have been routed through the Lifeline network since March 2007. Callers to 800-SUICIDE are now being helped 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. Recently, the FCC assigned 800-SUICIDE and two other related toll-free numbers to SAMHSA. Read here for more details regarding this decision. SAMHSA has directed that 800-SUICIDE calls now be assisted through the federally-funded Lifeline network of crisis centers, a process which began on February 22, 2007. 

    1. 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.

    1. 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.


Lifeline Chat

    1. 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.

    1. 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 additional contact information to ensure your safety. The chat counselor will work with you to create a safety plan if necessary.

    1. Why is the Lifeline Chat service only available from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. EST?

      The Lifeline Chat service is a pilot project beginning March 1, 2012 and running through September 28, 2012. Although we are hoping in the future to be open 24/7 currently we only have capacity to offer our chat services eight hours a day. If all chat counselors are busy assisting other visitors you will be asked to try the chat again in a half hour. If the chat service is not open we encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

    1. 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.


Facebook Chat

    1. How do I report suicidal users on Facebook?

      There are two ways to report a suicidal user to Facebook. You may either report it when you are scrolling on the suicidal user’s comment or from the Facebook Help Center. Click here for specific instructions. Once 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.

    1. How can I chat with the Lifeline on Facebook?

      Right now our chat is only for people who have been reported as posting suicidal content to Facebook. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

    1. Is the Lifeline Facebook Chat confidential?

      Once 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.

    1. Can I volunteer to work on the Lifeline’s Facebook Chat?

      The Lifeline Facebook Chat is contracted with two Lifeline crisis centers and is fully staffed. Please use our Crisis Center Locator to contact the crisis center nearest you to inquire about volunteer opportunities.


Getting Involved

    1. How do I order Lifeline materials?

      Please visit the Materials Home Page to learn more about how to order Lifeline materials.

    1. Can I use the Lifeline logo in my campaign or on my website?

      Absolutely! Lifeline is a public service and therefore our logo is available for anyone to use. Please visit Logos page.

    1. 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. We also have Web banners and buttons that you may post on your site. These materials can be found on the Web Banners page.


Joining the Lifeline Network of Crisis Centers

    1. 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, including:

      • Certification by an accrediting body (e.g., AAS, JCAHO, CONTACT USA, CARF, AIRS, etc.).
      • Geographic coverage capacity.
      • Community needs.
      • Other variables regarding enhancing the network.

      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. Please e-mail the Network Development Manager for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Carole Ludwig, at cludwig@mhaofnyc.org if you are interested in having your crisis center join the network.

  1. 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.