It’s no stretch to say that we’re currently in some trying times. In all honesty, we’ve been in some trying times. But as much as we like to discuss self-care, and de-stigmatizing discussions about mental health (not to mention creating and maintaining safe spaces in fandoms), there are still far too many people who are not reaching out for help when they truly need it. With this knowledge in mind, we wanted to offer a list of resources for any of you who are struggling and don’t quite know where to turn. And if you are struggling and don’t feel like you’re allowed to reach out for help, we want to emphatically say “you matter”, and that you have every right to reach out when you need it most. Stephen (@The_BadDM) of Faeforge Academy wanted to add this message:
Content Warning: Suicide, Mental Health, Depression
This week is different. A week ago a family member of mine took their life suddenly, unexpectedly and we are shaken to our core. It is tragic and hard for me to comprehend. I want him back, but unfortunately, it is too late for that.
But if you are here, and you are listening, it is not too late for you if you are struggling with depression, fear, self-hatred, and self-doubt. There are resources available for you to get help because you are worth it. You have value. You deserve help and do not have to face mental illness, depression, and thoughts of suicide alone. And please know, getting help is courageous, it is brave, and the fact that you are still getting up fighting means you are strong. Mental illness and depression do not mean you are weak or broken. You. Matter.
Below are some resources where you can get help. Please remember you are not alone in this.
Note: If you or someone you know is currently in a medical emergency, please call 911.
National Suicide Hotline – (1-800-273-8255)
This is a toll-free hotline for people who are in distress and believe they are at risk of self-harm. They also provide a number for Spanish speaking callers (1-888-628-9454) and for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (1-800-799-4889).
Some people do not feel comfortable with phone conversations (or for those who are unable to), and there are alternative solutions to help those who are in crisis. The Crisis Text Line, as the name implies, allows people to reach out via text, by texting HOME to 741741 which will then connect them to a crisis counselor. (They also have texting options available for those living in Canada and the UK.)
Another alternative to phone calls is the Lifeline Chat, a service offered by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (who also run the National Suicide Hotline).
For those who are struggling and are also LGBTQ+, The Trevor Project has been serving the LGBTQ+ youth via phone, chat, and text.
The website International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) has a large list of helplines they have compiled for those needing help around the world.
Substance Abuse Assistance
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers resources including a helpline (for both English and Spanish speakers) that is free and confidential and “for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.”
National Drug Helpline has a wealth of resources for those struggling including a list of additional numbers to call beyond their network. NDH provides advice for those struggling with, or the loved ones of someone struggling with addiction, in matters of treatment options, approaching a loved one, rehab costs and payments, and more. The number is free to call and confidential, but they also provide specific hotlines for heroin, meth, cocaine, alcohol, ecstasy, methadone, opiate, marijuana, and suboxone addictions.