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How to be Comfortably Talk to Strangers over a Hotline
There are hotlines for virtually everything. No, really. Today, I found out there is one for asthma (and was really tempted to call out of curiosity, but that’s beside the point). There are several helpful services that help those in need.
Talking to anyone over the phone can be difficult, but if you are in crisis and need to talk about serious issues, being able to talk to strangers, or the personnel at a runaway hotline can be even harder.
For many people, talking about personal problems with other people (even if those others are close to them) is really difficult. Calling a crisis hotline may be a good way to talk through a problem if it seems that people in your life aren’t really listening or aren’t really offering good support. However, in a time of crisis, it can be difficult to express how you’re feeling.
If you really want to talk through something with a crisis worker on a hotline, don’t be afraid to be completely honest about how you feel.
Crisis workers undergo training before they can help someone. If the problem you want to discuss seems really difficult, the person with whom you speak usually will be able to handle it. National Runaway Safeline frontline team members receive 40 hours of training before being allowed to take calls from youth in crisis. They also receive continuing education throughout their time at NRS.
Even if they can’t, they will usually hand over the call to a supervisor.
If you find that you don’t feel comfortable talking to the person on the line, an option may be to try asking for another liner (if they’re available), for the supervisor of the hotline, or to simply hang up.
If you are not comfortable talking to a hotline worker, NRS offers the ability to send us a crisis email. You can also use our live chat option through our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org.
If you believe you need help, please consider contacting us today.