Depression Hotline

Depressed man hugging pillow looking down considering calling hotlineThe World Health Organization estimates that as many as 300 million people suffer from depression worldwide.1 In the United States alone, more than 15 million people (or 6.7% of the population over the age of 18) suffer from major depressive disorder.2

Many people who have depression turn to drugs and alcohol to make them feel better or to numb themselves from their feelings—estimates state that approximately 10.2 million adults live with a co-occurring mental health and addiction disorder.3 This relationship between mental health and addiction is dangerous, particularly because substance abuse can worsen depressive symptoms.

But there are many ways to find help, including calling a depression hotline for information about treatment centers and 12-step programs.

The connection between depression and substance abuse can place you at a higher risk for self-harm, injury, and suicide, so having a 24-hour depression hotline crucial for many people who are in crisis. You can be assured that all calls are private and confidential and that you will speak to a person with experience in helping people with similar issues.

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Depression is a significantly debilitating mental health condition that can prevent you from living life to your fullest potential because you feel hopeless, sad, and tired. Additionally:1

There are effective ways to manage depression; calling a hotline can help you or a loved one begin your search for treatment.

What Questions Should I Ask?

When you call a 24-hour depression hotline, it is important that you share as much information as possible with the person on the other end of the line so they can better gauge your situation and provide relevant treatment information.

Before you call a depression helpline, you may want to write down questions you have, which might include:

If you are concerned about a family member, significant other, friend, classmate, or colleague, it can take an emotional toll on you. When calling a depression helpline, you can ask:

When you call, you may be asked your first name as well as your age, which helps the counselors figure out what types of programs you are eligible for. You may also be asked any of the following questions when you call:

Should I Call a Hotline?

Woman standing outside with hand on neck thinking about calling depression hotlineMost people experience periods of sadness in their lives after major events, such as a job loss, a divorce, or the death of a loved one. However, clinical depression is different than regular sadness or a period of grief. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), depression is diagnosed when you have 5 or more of the following symptoms in a 2-week period:4

  1. Depressed mood most of the day
  2. Loss of interest in almost all activities
  3. Significant weight loss or decrease in appetite
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness)
  5. Feelings of restlessness
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy
  7. Feeling worthless or guilty (sometimes for no reason)
  8. Trouble thinking or concentrating
  9. Recurring thoughts of death or of committing suicide (without a specific plan)

Mental Health Information

If you have depression and a substance abuse disorder, it can be very difficult to pick up the phone and ask for help. If you feel nervous and aren’t sure you can talk to someone on the phone, you can always try another time. Because all calls are confidential, you can feel safe about being open and honest—the person you speak to has experience and training and understands what you need.

If you want information about mental health in general, these resources can help:

Other Depression Hotlines

For many people, depression is an extremely lonely experience. Calling a hotline gives you the opportunity to talk to a caring person who can help you work through whatever negative thoughts or feelings you have.

If this is an emergency and you need immediate assistance, please call 911.


  1. World Health Organization. (2017). Depression.
  2. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2016). Facts & Statistics.
  3. National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.). Mental Health By The Numbers.
  4. DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria. (2013). Major Depressive Disorder.

Additional Resources

As advocates of mental health and wellness, we take great pride in educating our readers on the various online therapy providers available. PsychGuides has partnered with several thought leaders in the mental health and wellness space, so we can help you make informed decisions on your wellness journey. PsychGuides may receive marketing compensation from these companies should you choose to use their services.

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