HOTLINES for Kids Who Need Help
Story by: I&R Staff
DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE
The National Hopeline Network
Incoming calls get routed to suicide crisis agency located near the caller. More than 40 percent of calls come from people between the ages of 14 and 24.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse Services Administration
Callers receive information on where to find treatment in their area for the abuse of all types of substances, from alcohol to illegal (and legal) drugs.
Poison Control Centers
You may think of this as a number to call when someone accidentally swallows a substance like cleaning fluid. But Poison Control also takes calls concerning alcohol and drug abuse—many from teens worried that a friend has overdosed. Toxicologists are on hand to help the caller figure out if he should take the friend to the emergency room or follow steps to deal with the problem on his own.
National Runaway Switchboard
This hotline helps runaways find local shelters, transitional housing, and other resources. It can even help arrange for them to get a free bus ticket home. Volunteers and professional staff also work to prevent troubled kids from leaving home in the first place.
National Eating Disorders Association
This helpline (staffed only during certain business hours) offers referrals to local support groups and treatment centers for anorexia, bulimia, and other eating problems. After hours, callers can leave a confidential voicemail; a staffer will call back promptly.
Pax Real Solutions to Gun Violence
In more than 80 percent of school shooting cases, the attacker told at least one other student about his or her scheme beforehand. This is a number kids can call if they've heard about such a plan. Callers are not required to reveal their identity. Trained counselors ask questions, then call the school and local law enforcement to report the threat.
Girls and Boys Town National Hotline
This crisis, resource, and referral line is designed to help young people with problems ranging from fighting with parents and bullying to sexual assault and drug abuse.
COVENANT HOUSE NINELINE
Toll Free Crisis Hotline
Staffers take calls on any subject and have access to a database of 30,000 social service agencies throughout the country, including the 15 Covenant House Shelters.