Need help?

Thinking of Suicide?

Are you, or is a young person you know, not coping with life? For confidential suicide prevention advice contact HOPELINEUK. We are open Weekdays 9am–10pm, Weekends and Bank Holidays 2pm–10pm:

HOPELINEUK FAQs

  • How can I contact HOPELINEUK?

    You can contact HOPELINEUK via phone, text message and email.

    Call us on 0800 068 4141

    Text us on 07860 039967

    Email us at pat@papyrus-uk.org

  • When are you open?

    We are open on a Monday – Friday 9am-10pm

    Weekends and bank holidays it changes slightly 2pm -10pm

    Our text & email part of the service has the same opening times but we do highlight to our service users that this part of our service is not an immediate response service and can take up to 24 hours.

  • Is HOPELINEUK a part of PAPYRUS?

    Yes, HOPELINEUK is a helpline operated by PAPYRUS.

    PAPYRUS is a suicide prevention service that offers support and advice to young people up to 35 years.

    You can call our service on 0800 068 4141 for support, you can also text or e-mail to get support and you can find those details on the PAPYRUS website.

  • What is a Suicide Prevention Adviser?

    A Suicide Prevention Adviser is trained to support people to stay safe from acting on thoughts of suicide, and can provide advice and tips on how to do this. Each Suicide Prevention Adviser is professional and is employed by PAPYRUS. Every adviser undergoes an induction period and relevant training, including ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training).

  • How will a Suicide Prevention Adviser support me?

    A HOPELINEUK suicide prevention adviser is someone who:

    • will ask about thoughts of suicide
    • will take you seriously
    • won’t judge you
    • will give you a safe space to talk about things that might be impacting your thoughts of suicide
    • won’t be shocked by anything you say
    • you can trust
    • will advise and support you with your thoughts of suicide
    • will want to help you keep yourself safe by developing a safety plan with you

    HOPELINEUK advisers are people who each come with their own backgrounds, cultures, family and friends. They may have differing sexuality, ethnicity or physical and mental health than you, however, the focus will always remain on you. We understand that you may ask to know more about the advisers and their experiences, especially if you feel like it may help you. However, HOPELINEUK advisers will not talk about themselves, or answer personal questions as they want the conversation to be about you.

  • How do I start the conversation?

    Our Advisers are trained to guide you through the phone call. Different people may start the conversation in different ways, but all you need to do is say ‘hello’ or ‘hello, I need to talk to someone’ when you pick up the phone and our Advisers will take it from there. Usually we will start by asking if you have called out service before, and whether you are calling because you’re having thoughts of suicide.

  • Is it possible to speak with the same Suicide Prevention Adviser?

    All calls are answered by a team of Advisers, this means that you might speak to different Advisers each time you call. We don’t assign callers to Advisers, and you can’t request to speak to the same Adviser.

  • Why are you only able to support people in the UK?

    We can only support people in the UK because of our intervention policy. If we do need to intervene by reaching out to the emergency services for that extra support while supporting a young person then we can only do this with the UK police, we would not be able to do this outside the UK.

  • Why are you only able to support people up to the age of 35 years old?

    We support people up to 35 because suicide is the biggest killer of people up to 35 but to add to this when the founders of PAPYRUS came together to support those who were suicidal, they had all sadly lost someone to suicide and they were all under the age of 35 so initially that was where this age remit came from.

  • Is it OK to call you if I have thoughts of suicide but I don't want to act on them?

    Of course you can call us if you are having thoughts of suicide even if you don’t feel like you would act on them.

    We are a service that can look at advising you on how to distract from these thoughts of suicide but we also look at what might be triggering these thoughts too.

    We share our help and advice resources on the PAPYRUS website that include coping strategies for example, these can be extremely useful and can help our callers to get themselves to a calm place.

    Calming down and managing to then focus on a distraction can then empower you to keep yourself safe

  • Do I need to be in crisis to call HOPELINEUK?

    We do encourage our callers to try to call when they aren’t at crisis point, the reason for this is because it is extremely difficult for both the caller and the adviser to hear, focus and work on safety.

    Our aim on the call is to support, equip and influence the caller to empower themselves to keep themselves safe.

    If a caller did call while in crisis we would support them the best we could to calm themselves so that they could then work on safety and feel fully supported. 

  • Why are you a short term service?

    We are a short term service because we work on safety now. We look at what the impacts are that are making suicide feel like an option for young people.

    Once we share information on how to keep safe with our callers this can encourage them to their strength which could give them confidence to engage with the long term support services that we may have sign posted them too.

  • Is it OK to talk about what is impacting my thoughts of suicide?

    We tend to ask this question at the start of the call. We do this so that we can work on how to get around this trigger. Finding out what is impacting thoughts of suicide is a massive step because we can be aware of this impact but put things in place to distract the trigger which will help to keep them safer.

  • Are there times when you would need to break confidentiality?

    Yes there are times, which include: 

    • If you tell us that you have taken steps to end your life and you do not feel able to get the help you need for yourself.
    • If you tell us that you have the means to end your life, you are unable to keep yourself safe from suicide, or are unsure, and you do not feel able to get the help you need for yourself.
    • We believe that you or someone else has been, or is, at risk of serious harm.

    We are told about acts of terrorism or bomb warnings.

  • In what times would you tell me that you were going to break confidentiality?

    HOPELINEUK is a confidential and anonymous helpline, but we do have certain circumstances that we would have to break confidentiality. Please be aware though that at the start of the call this would be explain as we feel it’s crucial that you have a place to ask as many questions about that as you feel you need.

    We do NOT call the police without having a conversation with you first, if a call is ended we do not call the police.

    We only ever call the police if we have had a discussion first, nothing would be done without a conversation with you first.

  • Can I talk openly about my plan for suicide?

    As a suicide prevention helpline, we do ask about your suicide plan and talk to you about that and how we can disable that plan to keep you self from suicide.

    It can be so difficult to find a safe space to talk about suicide, and that is what we want to provide you with, that space to talk openly about how you are feeling and why you are suicidal.

  • Can you see my email or mobile number when I contact you?

    No. We are an anonymous service which means that we cannot see any information, but do have the ability to access it if we needed to break confidentiality.

    Our phones do not show numbers – to access your number we have to use an alternative system, that is secure and access is only granted through management and a password. Your number is not freely available to anyone, your details are secure and kept confidential.

  • If I need immediate support, why would you encourage me to reach out for this myself?

    We want you to be in charge of what is right for you and what care you need, with our service you can make those decisions, it is important that you are in control of this call. You have been brave enough to call, and engage with us and share your story with us. You reaching out to the emergency services means that you would get to speak to them directly, tell them exactly where you are, and if you do not know where you are they can trace your location.

    Us calling them is not helpful for you and could put your life in more danger as we are unable to get vital information from you to them and from them to you. It poses a number of different risks that we want to avoid for your safety and for your wellbeing.

    But if you do not feel able to, we can reach out to the police for you, and for that we would please ask that you provide us with as much information on your location and your appearance as possible so that can we can pass that information onto police. IF you cannot or do not feel able to provide that, we can still pass on your number or e-mail address (depending on contact) and then hopefully either the police make contact with you or they trace your number. We want the call you make to us to be comfortable for you, so we don’t want to add to any stress you could be experiencing, we will always talk to you first, you are the most important person on the call.

  • What information is storied about me?

    When you call our helpline, we will explain that we do keep brief notes in case you wish to call us back, as it saves you repeating yourself, or having to talk about thing you might not want to talk about again.

    We keep key parts of what you tell us, but nothing is identifiable, and only the people that you speak to and text / e-mail have access to the database where the information is stored.

    All information kept from calls, are brief overviews of the conversation. It is also crucial to know that your conversations, regardless of format are never get shared, even if we give your location, name and phone number to the police.

  • Can I call with the person I'm concerned for?

    Yes – but what we’ve found over the years is that it’s much better to call us for some advice and then let the person you’re worried about call us with an idea of what to expect. Talking about suicide can be really scary and tough. And more often than not- when handing the phone over, the person with thoughts of suicide finds it hard to open up; even if you’ve left the room. This makes sense. It can be daunting enough being given the phone half way through any conversation- let alone one about suicide.

  • Can you call someone I'm concerned about?

    No. But they can call us for free on 0800 068 4141 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We’re unable to call someone without their express permission.

  • Can you contact the emergency services for someone I am concerned about?

    No. But you can- or you can call NHS111 and they can help come to a decision with you. The reason we can’t is that you know the situation far better. So the person you’re worried about has a better chance of keeping safe from suicide if you call rather than us.

  • Will you tell me if someone I am concerned about contacts you?

    No. Any conversation we have with someone is confidential. So is the conversation we have with you. This works out better for everyone who calls because then they can feel more willing to be open and honest. We know from experience that the more honest someone is when calling our service; the greater chance they have of keeping safe from suicide.

  • What support do you offer over text and email?

    The support that we offer over text and email is a little different to the support we offer by phone. This is because our text and email services are limited.

    We will offer you short term emotional support, whilst also helping you to find services that might be able to provide you with more ongoing or specialist support.

    If we feel that you need the full amount of support that we offer, we may encourage you to phone our helpline so that we can offer you this support.

  • Who will respond to my messages?

    We have a team of Suicide Prevention Adviser who have been trained to provide support to anyone who contacts us. Different Advisers will be part of the team who responds to your texts and emails.

  • How long will I wait until I receive a response?

    The first time you contact us you will receive an automatic response straight away – this is to tell you about our confidentiality policy, opening hours and response time.

    To receive a response from an Adviser it can take up to 24 hours. We hope to respond faster than this during our opening hours, but we can’t guarantee that this will happen. Therefore, we have a response time of up to 24 hours

    If you send a message between midnight and 9am you will not receive a response until at least 9am as we are closed, but you may still need to wait up to 24 hours for a response.

  • Why might I be encouraged to call?

    The service that we provide through our text and email service is limited. As we can’t provide an immediate response service, it’s not possible for us to support people in the same way we do over the phone.

    On a call we can support you to put together a safety plan to help you to stay safe from suicide for now. As we can’t do this over text and email, if we think it is something you will find helpful, then we will encourage you to call so that we can support you to put together a safety plan.

  • What if I can't wait up to 24 hours for a response?

    Our text and email services have limits. We are not a crisis messenger service.

    If your life is at immediate risk, then you need to reach out to emergency services by calling 999.

    If your life is not at immediate risk but you feel you need a response faster than within 24 hours, please contact a crisis messenger service like Shout. You can get support from them by texting SHOUT to 85258

  • What happens if I call and I can't get through?

    We do our best to answer every call that comes through to us, but sometimes there are reasons why you might not get through. Usually this is because there are no Advisers available when you ring, whether they are already on calls or taking a brief comfort break.

    When HOPELINEUK is open:

    If you can’t get through to an Adviser and our service is open, you have two options:

    • Phone us again in a few minutes as you may get through after a second attempt
    • Leave a Voicemail message asking us to phone you. Make sure you speak clearly when telling us your phone number so that we can call you back. You do not need to tell us your name for us to phone you back

    If you leave a Voicemail while we are open, we aim to return your message within an hour, however, occasionally it may take us longer than this.

    When HOPELINEUK is closed:

    If you can’t get through to an Adviser and our service is closed (between midnight and 9am), you have three options:

    • If your life is at immediate risk, then you need to reach out to emergency services on 999
    • If your life is not at immediate risk but you feel you need to speak to someone before 9am, please contact another service for support, for example Samaritans is open 24 hours a day and can be called on 116 123
    • If you would like to wait until we are open, you can either phone us back after 9am, or leave a Voicemail message asking us to phone you. Make sure you speak clearly when telling us your phone number so that we can call you back

    Please note: if you do not leave your phone number, or we cannot understand your phone number, unfortunately we may not be able to call you back

  • Do I need to make a referral or book an appointment?

    No. HOPELINEUK does not take appointment bookings, or referrals. During our opening hours, anyone is free to call us who thinks that our service might be the right one for them. All you have to do is call, text or email our service and we will support you as best as we can – even if we think our service isn’t the right one for you.

  • Do you have a face to face service?

    No. HOPELINEUK does not offer a face to face service. We offer support by phone, text and email only.

  • What happens if I call and I don't feel able to continue speaking?

    If you don’t feel able to continue speaking, it’s okay. It’s up to you when you want to end the call. Just explain to the Adviser that you don’t want to speak anymore, or that you need to go.

    The Adviser may ask you why you don’t feel able to continue speaking, or why you need to go; it’s up to you how much you tell them. If there is a problem with the support you’re receiving, it’s helpful if you can tell us this so that we can try to find a solution to the problem.

    If you want to continue the call, but for other reasons can’t, let the Adviser know. They will ask if you want to leave your name so that you can continue when you’re able to phone back, even if you get through to a different Adviser.

  • What happens if I call HOPELINEUK but it isn't the right service for me?

    We will support anyone who calls us during the call. If we think that HOPELINEUK isn’t the right service for you, we will not immediately end the call. We will ask you more about what is going on for you so that we can support you to find a service that might be able to help you better.

  • How can I share my experiences of using HOPELINEUK?

    HOPELINEUK is always looking for feedback from those we provide support to, even if this is about how we can make our service better. HOPELINEUK advisers want to know what they are doing right and what can be improved on. We welcome your opinion. You can email us at HOPELINEUK@papyrus-uk.org.

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Thinking of Suicide?