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Ready to Chat?
What Happens When I Chat with the Lifeline?
1. First, you’ll see a wait-time message while we connect you to a crisis counselor.
2. If demand is high, you can always look at our “Helpful Resources” below, or call the Lifeline at 988.
3. A counselor will answer your chat.
4. This person will listen to you, understand how your problem is affecting you, provide support, and share resources that may be helpful.
If you’re having trouble accessing Chat and the troubleshooting tips below don’t resolve the issue, Crisis Counselors are available to support you by phone at 988. You can also Contact Us to share the technical trouble you’re experiencing so we can get things fixed.
LGBTQ+ people under 25 can access LGBTQ+ support on either 988 Crisis Chat or Text from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Eastern, daily.
Veterans and active service members can text 838255 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line 24/7. Learn more about the VCL here.
Who should use the Lifeline Chat Program?
Anyone who is depressed, going through a hard time, needs to talk, or is thinking about suicide can use the chat. The chat counselors are here to listen and support you through whatever difficult times you may be facing.
When is Lifeline Chat available?
The Lifeline Chat service is available 24/7. If you have trouble connecting to the chat service we encourage you to call the Lifeline at 988.
Are all Lifeline Chat communications secure and confidential?
The confidentiality and security of chats are ensured through the Lifeline chat software provider, which uses the same encryption and data protection standards required by major financial institutions to transact business with each other. All of your communications are securely encrypted from your computer to ours.
Is the Lifeline Facebook Chat confidential?
If a user is reported to Facebook for posting suicidal content, the content is reviewed by the Facebook Safety Team. If appropriate, Facebook will respond directly to the user via e-mail indicating that someone on Facebook is concerned about their safety and encourage the user to call the Lifeline and/or enter a confidential chat session with a crisis counselor. If the user chooses to enter chat, he or she will be redirected to a site hosted by the Lifeline. Security controls, including encryption and authentication, are in place to ensure the protection of any information submitted via chat. Additionally, the user who is given the opportunity to chat does not have to disclose any identifying information.
What do I do if the Chat is busy or nobody answers?
If the service appears ‘offline’ or ‘busy’, please call the Lifeline at 988 – we are available 24/7.
If you or someone you know is in danger or needs immediate medical attention, please call 911.
What is CONTACT USA?
CONTACT USA has been offering help to those in need through online chat since 2010. Crisis Chat has been a nationwide project that aims to improve access to mental health care. Crisis Chat has linked existing certified crisis call centers around the United States on one website platform, creating a service that will eventually route website visitors to the crisis center that serves their local area. Crisis Chat has also provided essential emotional support and crisis intervention services to millions of people who are depressed, despairing or thinking about suicide.
What is the purpose of this survey?
Knowing a bit about you, what you’re going through, and how you’re feeling right now can help your counselor better support you as soon as your conversation starts.
The chat window isn't working for me and the other troubleshooting tips didn't fix the problem.
We’re so sorry that the site isn’t working for you. Crisis Counselors are available to support you by phone at 988. You can also Contact Us to share the technical trouble you’re experiencing so we can get things fixed.
I submitted my survey, but nothing happened.
I've been waiting a long time...
Troubleshooting Steps: To speak to a counselor now, please call the Lifeline at 988. Since about 20,000 people visit our chat page per month, there is a possibility that you will wait in a queue. Our busiest times are between 10:00 pm EST – 2:00 am EST.