Merck Manual

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Suicide Intervention: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Suicide Intervention: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

People imminently planning suicide are in crisis. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) provides crisis intervention for such people throughout the United States. Suicide prevention centers are staffed by specially trained personnel and volunteers.

When potentially suicidal people call the hotline, a trained counselor may do any or all of the following:

  • Seek to establish a supportive rapport

  • Facilitate a conversation that allows the person to feel heard and to move from a highly charged emotional state to a calm state where flexible coping strategies can be resumed

  • Offer constructive help for the problem that brought on the crisis and encourage them to take positive action to resolve it

  • Provide mental health resources for follow-up

  • Facilitate emergency face-to-face professional help for them only if needed