Crisis hotline

service providing immediate emergency telephone counseling

Crisis hotlines are telephone numbers that people can call to get urgent and immediate counseling. Since the 1970s, most areas around the United States have had these lines. The lines were originally for suicides or stopping suicide. Now they also deal with family abuse, emotional troubles, and depression. There are also special text and call lines especially for teenagers.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a crisis line in the United States and Canada
An operator for Sweden's Mind Självmordslinjen (suicide prevention hotline) at work.


In the United States, the first crisis help line began in 1958; the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center. It used trained voluneers to answer calls 24 hours a day.[1] San Francisco Suicide Prevention[2] started a hotline "Call Bruce" in 1962.

A similar service, Lifeline, was started in Australia in 1963.

Lifelink Samaritans Tas. Inc, began in Launceston, Tasmania in 1968. It was started as a way to help people in emotional pain that could not talk with family and friends. It answered calls 24 hours a day throughout the country of Tasmania.


  1. "Brief History of Suicide Prevention in the United States". National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  2. "The SFSP Website". October 25, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2015.