A snippet from life of a Helpline call centre:
11.51: Bullies at school are telling the next female caller to take her own life. She’s upset and agitated and feels anxious about talking to her parents or GP. After talking through the issues, she says she’s not in immediate danger and will try to talk to her parents and seek support from her GP or the charity if she feels it necessary.
13.49: A mother calls about her son who is struggling at university and has told her he may as well not be alive. She is worried he might be suicidal.
The adviser talks to her for half an hour about asking her son directly about suicide and discusses what other support he may need, including talking to his GP and giving him the HOPELineUK details. Afterwards, the mum says she is more confident about speaking to her son.
18.32: With the suicide prevention advisers on calls, a voicemail is left by a young man. He calls back eight minutes later and starts apologising for calling the helpline.
He’s made plans to take his own life today and despite calling his mental health team and telling them he’s suicidal, he’s still waiting for his case worker to call back.
After 42 minutes on the phone with the helpline suicide prevention adviser, he’s much calmer and says he won’t take his own life today.
18.53: A young transitioning transgender person calls, admitting she’s feeling suicidal today. She spends 23 minutes talking through her issues with a suicide prevention adviser who works with her on a plan to stay safe over the coming hours and signposts her to support networks she may find helpful.
19.38: A text comes in from a young father who says he’s feeling suicidal. He suffered domestic abuse as a child and, as a result of alcohol and drug addiction, has lost contact rights with his own children. He says he has his suicide method in front of him and is intending to end his life.
Let’s break the silence. Hopeline number: 0800 068 4141