Please help - I need support and don't know where to turn.

Often when someone is having intense feelings, the mere thought of reaching out for support is overwhelming. We’re glad you’ve taken this first step of contacting us at NAMI. 

Please know that you are not alone. There are many free or low-cost resources such as support groups, discussion groups, social media platforms, hotlines, and others where you can reach out to either talk with someone confidentially about your feelings and/or share and learn from others.

If This is a Crisis Situation

If you are in danger of hurting yourself and are not able to stay safe, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 for help 24/7. You will be connected to a trained crisis worker to talk with you about your feelings and work with you to develop a plan for staying safe. They can also provide information on local resources, including treatment. 

  • Lifeline Options for Deaf + Hard of Hearing for TTY Users: 
    • Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then (800)-273-8255
  • Lifeline for Veterans:
    • Call (800)-273-8255 or text 838255
  • Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio:
    • (888)-628-9454
  • LGBTQ Youth & Young Adults: 
    • The Trevor Lifeline provides 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth & young adults ages 13–24 and can be reached at (866)-488-7386 or text “START” to 678-678 

If texting is more comfortable for you, NAMI maintains a partnership with Crisis Text Line, available 24/7 in the United States. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting NAMI to 741741 and a trained crisis worker will respond within minutes. The Crisis Text Line is a free, confidential service that is available 24/7 in the United States.

Another option is to seek help at the nearest emergency room. 

Resources serving the US and other nations: 

Non-Crisis Emotional Support is Available

A warmline is a confidential, non-crisis helpline that provides emotional support. Warmlines are staffed by peer volunteers who are in recovery and can empathize with and offer support for another person’s struggle. You can find a Warmline that serves your area by searching the NAMI National HelpLine Warmline Directory.

NAMI offers free support groups where you can be among peers in your community who face similar challenges living with or caring for a loved one with a mental health condition. NAMI Connection is a peer-led support group for any adult who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition, while NAMI Family Support Group is a support group for any adult with a loved one who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition.Locate an in-person or virtual NAMI support group near you here. NAMI also hosts online discussion group communities where people exchange support and encouragement. You can join by visiting www.nami.org.

Support groups can be an important part of taking care of yourself. Mental Health America maintains a Support Group Locator to direct you to a variety of organizations that offer support groups for consumers, their family members and friends. Some support groups are peer-led, while others are led by a mental health professional.

If you are interested in Online Support

Below is a list of resources if you feel comfortable reaching out for virtual support:

  • Support Groups Central is a directory of free or low-cost virtual support groups on various mental health topics; website is also offered in Spanish.
  • The Tribe Wellness Community has free, online peer support groups, forums and chat rooms offering members a safe place to connect about mental health challenges related to addiction, anxiety, depression, OCD, and a dedicated group for teens. 
  • 7 Cups provides free emotional support through trained peer-listeners and chat groups; services/website are also offered in Spanish.
  • SupportGroups.com maintains a website featuring 200+ online support groups; registration is required to access group details. 
  • Pro2Pro Listserv is a collaborative mental health initiative from the Saks Institute and the Burton Blatt Institute that provides a free, anonymous online “professional to professional” peer support communication platform where professionals with psychosocial disabilities can give and receive support from their peers. More information, including how to be added to the Listserv, is available at Burton Blatt Institute P2P Launch.
  • Emotions Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who desire to improve their emotional well-being. EA members have in-person and online weekly meetings available in more than 30 countries with 600 active groups worldwide.  EA is nonprofessional and can be a complementary support to therapy.
  • Psych Central offers online mental health resources, quizzes, news, and online support communities. 
  • Co-Dependents Anonymous offers a 12-step recovery program for people seeking healthy relationships. Provides face-to-face, online and phone meetings in the U.S. and internationally and has a “Meeting Locator” function. They also offer Spanish language calls.

For Healthcare Workers or Other Frontline Professionals

  • The Emotional PPE Project maintains a directory of volunteer mental health practitioners who are willing to provide no-cost therapy for health care workers whose mental health has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • PeerRxMed is a free program to help physicians and others on the care team thrive personally and professionally by providing support through weekly, monthly, and quarterly check-ins with a peer mentor.
  • Therapy Aid Coalition is a national directory of psychotherapists willing to provide free or low-fee short-term online therapy for US essential workers impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Building Emotional Resilience

The American Psychological Association offers excellent guidance on building your resilience and adapting to difficult or challenging life circumstances. The resources listed below may also be of help:

  • NAMI Hearts and Minds is a wellness initiative to educate and empower you to better manage your mental and physical health including gaining a greater sense of control over your emotions. Available as a 4-hour seminar or 4-session course at your local NAMI Affiliate. If a seminar isn’t available, contact your local NAMI Affiliate about starting one
  • Your Life Your Voice is a service of Boys Town that provides teens with tips and coping techniques to help with tough situations. Their website features an Interactive List of 99 Coping Skills and Strategies.
  • Now Matters Now is an online resource that provides support for coping with suicidal thoughts through teaching skills based on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. The website includes inspirational videos of personal stories of resilience.

Loneliness/Isolation

  • Connect2Affect provides resources and tools to overcome social isolation. 
  • Meetup is asocial networking site that allows you to find and join groups that host in-person events for people who share your personal interests.

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