Mental Health Support and Suicide Prevention Hotline
Establishing Mental Health Hotline
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With 50 years of experience, ERAN has developed groundbreaking strategies and protocols to deal with many traumatic situations on the personal and national levels. Loneliness, despair, guilt, anger, embarrassment, fear, love, suicidal thoughts, national emergencies, and their aftermath, cause significant emotional trauma: fearing for one’s life, fearing for the life of a loved one, experiences of battle, death, and destruction, all impact the mental and emotional health. And while often, those affected outwardly seem to be unscathed, the consequences of this inner turmoil, left untreated, can be catastrophic – months, years, even decades into the future. The need is, twofold: to raise awareness and enable those affected and their loved ones to identify the need for assistance, and to provide that assistance effectively.
300,000 calls are received in ERAN each year, including thousands of callers in immediate danger (active suicides in progress or seriously considering it). Apart from the general hotlines for Hebrew, Arabic and Russian speakers, ERAN operates dedicated hotlines for children and youth at-risk, soldiers and their families, Holocaust survivors and their families, and an Internet hotline, with callers ages ranging from 10 years old to 90 years old.
The aims of establishing an Emotional First-Aid Hotline:
● Provide relief from emotional and mental overload for the caller
● Strengthen the sense of self-worth and confidence, and instill a belief in his or her ability to cope with the challenges, while imparting faith in his or her capacity
● Build with each caller a strategy for dealing with his/her emotional distress and difficulties
● Provide support to family members, as they attempt to support the individual and deal with the potential damage to the family’s ability to withstand distress
● Identify signs of crisis and risk, and when necessary, refer the caller to professional assistance