It’s okay to call a helpline!

post by Si Martin

June, 21 2023

3 minute read

In this video, we explore why it’s okay to call a helpline. You can either watch the video, or read along below. Don’t forget to drop a comment and let us know what you think too!

Calling a helpline can seem scary!

I’m about to change your mind. 

You’ve probably heard people say: “You should call a helpline if you’re struggling with your mental health”. But that might seem scary to you!

I know what you might be thinking: “Is it really okay to speak to a stranger about my problems?” “Will they understand?” “What if they judge me?” “What if I’m too shy?” Trust me, I’ve been there too. But let me tell ya: you’re making it way more scary in your head, than it actually is.

Who’s behind the helpline?

When you call a helpline, you’re connecting with someone who genuinely cares about your well-being. These folks have been specially trained to provide support, guidance, and a safe space for you to express yourself without fear of judgment.

I’ve met a bunch of people who help run helplines like Samaritans and Papyrus, and they’re some of the loveliest folk I’ve ever met. And the majority of people working these helplines are volunteers, which means they’re doing it not because it’s their job, but  because they genuinely care, and want to help you. Yes. You. 

Whenever we speak to students & young people, the main thing they want is someone to listen. Without judging, without interrupting, and not making you feel like crap. Well.. that’s what a helpline can be! They’re literally there to listen to you, without judging, and without trying to fix your problems. Just to empathize, explore your thoughts and emotions, and let you get stuff off your chest.

A man speaking on a phone, calling a helpline
Calling a helpline doesn’t have to be scary

And the best part? 

Because they’re outside of your situation, you won’t have to see them around town or school or work or wherever. Once you’re done talking, you can hang up the phone, and you need never interact with each other again. But it also means they’re not caught up in the same situation you are, so they can bring some fresh perspectives that you might not have considered, if that’s what you want. 

What if you don’t want to CALL a helpline?

Now look. I get it. Speaking on the phone can seem scary. Who even uses a phone these days? What is this, the 1920s?  But so many helplines now have more than just a phone line. Loads of places offer text, email or online chat options, if you’d rather not actually speak about it out loud. 

But I really do recommend talking out loud, because sometimes just actually saying the words of what’s bothering me, helps to make some better sense of what’s going on in my brain.

But if you’re a bit shy, don’t worry, the time you spend on the call, or the chat, is entirely in your hands. If you only wanna say 2 words the first time you speak to someone, that’s ok. If you’d rather they lead the conversation and ask you questions, they can do that. These guys are 👏 here 👏 for 👏 you 👏.

And remember, these helplines are completely confidential. A load of them won’t even show up on a phone bill too. So it’s extra private. 

There’s a helpline for that

And one last thought about helplines – there are helplines for all sorts of different issues you might be facing. So if you wanna speak to someone who really does get it with specific situations, you can speak to someone like Mermaids for issues around gender, or BEAT for advice around eating disorders. Those are just a couple of examples, there’s heaps of places you can talk over on the Helplines page. But again, whatever it is you’re facing, there are places out there literally waiting for you to hit them up, and get stuff off your chest.

So what do you think?

Did that change your mind? Or do you still have hang ups? (hang ups is a brilliant phone based joke, in case you were wondering). Drop a comment if you’re still not sure. Or if you’ve had a helpline really work for you, also drop a comment, I’d love to hear about it. Remember champions, you’re not in this alone. There are people on your side. And you can get through this.

If you found this helpful

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