Man Calling a Crisis Line

There are 2 types of healthlines

Health Lines (operated by nurses) provide a quick, free, and informal way to access mental health information and learn about resources in your community.

Crisis, Distress or Helplines (operated by volunteers trained in mental health, active listening, crisis and suicide assessment and intervention) provide callers with someone you can talk to in the event of a crisis or even when you just need someone to reach out to in stressful times. You can even call these mental health and depression lines in the middle of the night.

These lines are available 24/7 in Canada, Australia, UK, US and many other countries.

Getting started
Find healthline numbers in your area
Call when you need support
Getting started

Calling a healthline can seem intimidating, but it’s not that different from having a friend who’s a doctor you can call to find out what to do after spraining a knee. If you call and don’t find it useful, you can always say thanks and hang up, or try calling a different healthline.

Watch Aidan’s Tip Video: Call a Crisis/Healthline.

Here are some common concerns that guys often have regarding healthlines include the following:

You don’t want them telling you what to do

Healthline staff won’t tell you what to do. Instead, they listen and provide information about services and treatment options, and are also there to offer support and guidance if you want it. You remain in control of your health and recovery.

You don’t think it’s an emergency and don’t want to waste their time

There is no minimum urgency level needed to make a call.  Don’t worry about wasting their time if you don’t think you are in a ‘crisis’. It’s always better to prevent a crisis than to react to a crisis.

You don’t see the point and can’t see how they could help

Healthlines can usually point you to services and resources that you likely aren’t familiar with.  On top of that, the very act of talking to someone about things that are bothering you can be really helpful, especially for guys who tend to keep things to themselves.

You’re concerned about privacy

Healthlines offer anonymous and confidential services. Your calls aren’t recorded. You don’t have to state your name, and they won’t trace or tell anyone you called. In cases where someone is at imminent risk of hurting themselves, they may urge you to call 911 or ask if it’s okay to send help.

Find healthline numbers in your area

Write down the numbers for your area and keep them handy (add them to your phone or keep a note in your wallet). If you want or need to reach out, you’ll have the numbers near your fingertips. Unless noted otherwise, the numbers listed below operate 24 hours/7 days a week. (1-800, 1-877, and 1-888 numbers are toll free).

Health/Crisis Lines:

Canada

Alberta

British Columbia

Manitoba

  • Manitoba Suicide Line: 1-877-435-7170
  • Manitoba Farm and Rural Stress Line: 1-866-867-3276 (General health line)

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Mental Health Crisis Centre: 1-888-737-4668 or (709) 737-4668

New Brunswick

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

Nunavut

Ontario

Quebec

Prince Edward Island

Saskatchewan

Yukon

Complete list of phonelines across Canada by province, city and neighbourhood: Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.

Australia

United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland

Outside of Canada, Australia, UK, and US

  • Search online based on your country, state, province, or city and the words “crisis phoneline,” “distress phoneline,” “helpline,” “mental health line,” or “nurse line” to find a healthline near you.
Call when you need support

Don’t hesitate using a healthline when you need it. If you’re concerned about harming yourself, someone else, or ending your life, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital to get immediate, in-person support. See reach out in a crisis for more information.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you call:

Let them know what’s bothering you or what you want

If you’re stressed, worried, or depressed and it’s affecting your life, let them know.

“I can’t keep up with work (school). I’m feeling really overwhelmed.”

“I don’t have any energy these days, I don’t know where to start with getting better?”

“I’ve been struggling with depression and don’t really know how to get better.  What services can I try?”

Be honest

There’s no need to sugar-coat things. If you’re going through some pretty rough times – let them know.  The best support comes from you being honest.

Don’t hide suicidal thoughts

Crisis lines exist to help people in times of suicidal crisis – it’s what they’re trained to do. Tell the person on the line what you are thinking and let them point you toward resources and services to get better. Suicidal thoughts are a symptom of depression and ignoring them won’t make they go away.