Borrow my hope: The lifeline helped me save my life


Leah Jamison

The teal-and-purple ribbon commemorates lives lost to suicide.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255, which will eventually become 988, is a resource that is often brought up during National Suicide Prevention Week and World Suicide Prevention Day each September.
It’s also a resource that’s helped save my life.
I called their number in August 2018, when I was facing alternating cycles of depression and anxiety, both combined with suicidal thoughts. I don’t remember everything from the conversation (I do recall crying a lot), but one thing that truly helped me was the encouragement to seek out help from a mental health professional.
Before calling the Lifeline, going to therapy seemed like the scariest thing I could do. After my phone call, though, I realized that getting help was necessary for my life.
Another aspect of the call that I vividly remember was the Lifeline volunteer telling me, “By calling in today, it sounds like there’s a part of you that wants to keep living and stay alive.”
I hadn’t thought about it that way. To my mind, I was calling out of desperation and hopelessness. Hearing the volunteer say that, though, gave me a new perspective on how I wanted to take care of myself.
I’ve used the Lifeline’s chat function several times since that call. They’ve helped me with crisis after crisis and given me hope when I’ve felt hopeless. Right when I think I’m hitting rock-bottom mentally, the Lifeline has been there for me.
I should note that the Lifeline doesn’t exist to solve your problems. What it does provide is compassion for the pain that you’re facing. That support and care is enough to hopefully inspire you to reach out to others, take care of yourself, and find hope.
So, please, if you’re reading this and dealing with suicidal thoughts, consider calling the Lifeline or using their chatline. It can be a life-changing and life-saving conversation.