Suicide Prevention Resources & Materials

Instructor: Jessica Keys
In addition to more immediate help for those in crisis, this helpful article also offers a number of useful resources for mental health professionals, organizations, students and families.


A hotline offers quick and short-term assistance for those in crisis. They are free to call, confidential and usually operate on a 24/7 basis. Some hotlines offer referrals to local organizations and treatment centers, and some will send informational booklets and other materials upon request. Continue reading for an overview of three nationwide hotlines, with contact information below.

Please note that a hotline is not a substitute for regular counseling or treatment; if there is a medical emergency or if somebody is in imminent danger, call 911.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call any time, any day of the week and get in touch with a crisis counselor. Anybody experiencing any kind of crisis is welcome to call regardless of whether or not they are considering suicide. The Lifeline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is toll free. The Lifeline also offers an online chat service, which is also available 24/7. There is even a special service for United States Veterans in crisis (after dialing the Lifeline, press 1 when prompted).

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline

SAMHSA offers a hotline especially for those struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse. The hotline is primarily a referral service, connecting callers with appropriate local community organizations and treatment facilities. English and Spanish-speaking operators are available.


IAMAlive is an online network dedicated to crisis counseling and suicide prevention. Instead of making a phone call, those in need may reach out any time to a trained volunteer through IMAlive's private chat rooms.

Crisis Text Line

The Crisis Text Line connects callers with a counselor via text message. All messages are anonymous and for most cell phone plans, this service is free of charge.

Hotlines at a Glance

National Suicide Preventionphone;
(800) 273-TALK (8255)
(800)628-9454 (Español)
(800) 799-4889 (TTY);
SAMHSAphone(800) 662-HELP (4357)24/7
Crisis Text Linetexttext START to 741-74124/7

Suicide Prevention/Support Organizations

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

The SPRC's website offers a wealth of information for health providers, social service professionals, colleges/universities and students. Learn about national and local initiatives, as well as news and current issues regarding suicide prevention efforts. The SPRC also manages many educational programs, including several webinars, workshops and a CE program for mental health professionals.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

NIMH is a section of the National Institutes of Health, run by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Many publications about mental disorders are available for free on the NIMH official website, including booklets about suicide prevention. The website also features a section about suicide prevention, with news, information and more resources.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The AFSP is a charitable organization that promotes efforts to improve suicide intervention in the United States. These efforts include funding research for mental health issues, educating communities about suicide and related issues, and advocating for improved legislation on national and local levels.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

In addition to mental health and substance abuse, SAMHSA's community-based programs also cover public health issues such as homelessness, trauma and disaster recovery. Suicide prevention is one of SAMHSA's major concerns, and they partner with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention to advance the promotion of improved prevention efforts nationwide. Visit SAMHSA's website for a wealth of resources (including treatment referral) on these topics and more.

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