[ Browse by Service Category : Crisis Intervention : Sub-Topics of Crisis Intervention Hotlines/Helplines (25) ]

Child Abuse Hotlines

Programs that provide immediate assistance for parents who have abused or fear they may abuse their children with the objective of defusing the parent's anger and frustration and ensuring the child's future safety through referrals for ongoing support and treatment. Also included may be services for abused children and concerned others who are in need of advice, guidance and/or emotional support. Hotline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.

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Domestic Violence Hotlines

Programs that provide immediate assistance for women and men who have experienced domestic abuse which may include steps to ensure the person's safety; short-term emotional support; assistance with shelter; legal information and advocacy; referrals for medical treatment; ongoing counselling and/or group support; and other related services. Hotline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.

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Elder Abuse Hotlines

Programs that provide advice, guidance and/or emotional support for older adults who are experiencing or at risk for physical, emotional or financial abuse. Hotline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.

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Gambling Addiction Helplines

Programs that provide immediate assistance for people who are concerned about their own gambling or the gambling of a friend or family member which may include short-term emotional support, an opportunity to ask questions and discuss alternatives and referrals to confidential treatment services. Helpline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.

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General Crisis Intervention Hotlines

Programs that provide immediate assistance for people who are emotionally distressed with the objective of defusing the crisis, ensuring the person's safety and helping the person to take the next immediate steps toward resolving the problem. General crisis intervention hotlines are available to anyone who is experiencing a crisis rather than focusing on people with particular types of problems such as domestic violence, mental health or child abuse. Hotline staff are often trained volunteers who are available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.

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LGBTQ Helplines

Programs that provide immediate assistance for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit or queer as well as people who are in the process of coming out, people who are questioning their sexual orientation/gender identity and/or their friends and families. Included may be short-term emotional support, resources and community referrals. The service is generally free and confidential and may offer peer support. Helpline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.

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Mental Health Crisis Lines

Programs that provide immediate assistance for people experiencing a mental health crisis such as a psychotic episode with the objective of defusing the crisis, often working closely with mobile crisis teams on standby, and helping the person develop a plan to link with resources for ongoing assistance, if required. A mental health crisis is a non-life threatening situation in which an individual exhibits extreme emotional disturbance or behavioural distress, is considering harm to him or herself or others, is disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a compromised ability to function, or is otherwise agitated and unable to be calmed. Other common indicators include feelings of intense sadness or depression, sleeping or eating problems, anxiety, severe distress, grief, anger or aggression, scattered, unfocused thinking, self-doubt, loss of motivation, lack of patience or irritability and paranoia. The service is generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.

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Sexual Assault Hotlines

Programs that provide immediate assistance for people who are survivors of rape, incest and other forms of sexual assault which may include steps to ensure the person's safety, short-term emotional support, information regarding the person's rights and alternatives, and referrals and/or accompaniment to resources for medical, legal and emotional needs, advocacy and other related services. Hotline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.

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Suicide Prevention Hotlines

Programs that provide immediate assistance for individuals who are having suicidal feelings with the objective of helping them explore alternatives to self-harm or self-destruction. Included are local, accredited hotlines, regional and province-wide programs, programs offered by local nonprofit organizations and the national suicide prevention hotline. Suicide prevention workers establish and maintain contact with the individual while identifying and clarifying the focal problem, evaluate the suicidal potential, assess the individual's strengths and resources, and mobilize available resources including paramedic or police intervention and emergency psychiatric care as needed. These programs can also help individuals who are worried about the potentially suicidal behaviour of another with the objective of helping them identify warning signs and provide options for seeking further help. Hotline staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text.

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Veteran/Military Hotlines

Programs that provide confidential assistance for military personnel and veterans who are emotionally distressed with the objective of defusing the crisis, ensuring the person's safety and helping the person to take the next immediate steps toward resolving the problem. Trained staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text. Most military/veteran hotlines are also available to family members who are concerned about a loved one.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.


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