Traditional psychotherapy, whether it be online via distance counseling or in an office, is usually meant to be an involved process that calls for building rapport and a therapeutic relationship – in a perfect world that is. But what if you are in a crisis? You might not want to wait until the next business day to vent about your current feelings. Thoughts of self-harm are not ones to be taken lightly. Speaking to someone now might be just what you need.

Different types of resources

Being educated about the different types of resources available for crisis intervention is a great way to arm yourself with the tools you might have in a crisis situation. Help is available in the form of telephone calls, online chat and support groups. Resources have grown a great deal over the years, becoming more and more specialized as our needs become more individualized. Give yourself the space you need to figure out what service is best for your present needs.

What do they offer?

Hotlines and chat sessions are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Professionals are trained to help those facing crisis. They are also able to refer a client for follow-up treatment. Keep this in mind when you call a crisis line. Having some support after a crisis is a good way to create a safety plan and create a social network.

Which one is right for me?

Choosing a helpline in a time of need is a personal choice. Most hotlines are general in nature while others cater to specific groups of individuals. One example of a helpline is The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This website provides services in both English and Spanish. There are also lists of resources available in the states through and the United States National Suicide & Crisis Hotlines website.  International resources are also available. One example of a great site that provides international resources is Befrienders Worldwide.

As a therapist, I believe having access to these resources can really be a lifesaver. There is one out there for you if you need help now. Who would you turn to for support in a time of crisis?