How to Use Helplines to Improve Your Mental Health

The tend-and-befriend stress response—activated when you reach out to others and express your feelings—has been shown to boost mental health by lowering your heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.

Expressing your feelings rather than bottling them up is therapeutic for both your mind and body.

Talking to a volunteer listener on a helpline can help you shift further into the tend-and-befriend stress response.

Perhaps you associate helplines with feeling suicidal, but this isn't the case! It's a common misconception that helplines are only for people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

As the Samaritans note on their website:

"Most people who contact us are not suicidal. When you talk to us, we will give you an opportunity to talk about any thoughts or feelings you have, whatever they may be. You'll be able to see things more clearly. You'll be able to think much more clearly about what your options are. Sometimes people need to cry or show how angry they are at life, or go over their thoughts and feelings several times to make sense of them, and that’s fine. We're there for as long as you need us."

You can contact the Samaritans for free at any time on 116 123.

  • Click here to view a full list of international helplines.

Watch These Videos to Find Out More About How People Use Helplines to Improve Mental Health

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