If the National Suicide Hotline puts you on hold, where else can you call?

In light of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spades’ suicides, both discussion of suicide and calls to suicide hotlines have peaked. I have heard some people share that when they call the National Suicide Hotline (800-273-8255), they  are put on hold. If you do not want to wait, there are alternate suicide hotline numbers that are local/state-wide or population-specific that can be more accessible since they are targeted to a smaller population.

For example, for people who are local to Southern California, an alternate suicide hotline number that is more accessible is Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Hotline: (877) 727-4747. It’s specifically to serve Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial Counties, which is why it’s less in demand. Their counselors are very well trained and they spend a good amount of time with you. I have received training from Didi Hirsch and am very familiar with this organization so I highly recommend them.

There are also population-specific hotlines, like for Asian Americans, LGBTQ youth, veterans, kids, teens, and families, phone lines in Spanish and other languages, and there are texting hotlines. I’ve pasted a few below.

I’ve listed the most prominent ones below:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
📞 800-273-TALK (8255)
📞 TTY: 800-799-4TTY (4889)

Crisis Text Line
Text 741741
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crisistextline

Lifeline Crisis Chat
1:1 Online Chat: http://www.crisischat.org/chat (12:00 pm – 12:00 am EST)

IMAlive Crisis Chat

Red para la Prevención del Suicidio USA
📞 888-628-9454
Se Habla Español 24/7

Spanish-Speaking Suicide Hotline USA
📞800-SUICIDA (784-2432) Suicida.Hotline
Se Habla Español

Suicide Hotline in Spanish USA
📞800-273-TALK (8255), Press 2
Se Habla Español 24/7

Asian American Suicide Prevention and Education
📞 877-990-8585 (Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Fujianese)

Boys Town Suicide and Crisis Line (for teens/parents/families)
📞 800-448-3000
Text, Chat Email: http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/Pages/ways-to-get-help.aspx

Vet2Vet Veterans Crisis Hotline
📞 1-877-VET-2-VET (838-2838)

Veterans Crisis Line USA
📞800-273-TALK (8255), press 1

New Hope Now USA
📞714-NEW-HOPE (639-4673)

Postpartum Depression Hotline USA
📞800-PPD-MOMS (773-6667)

Kids Helpline USA
Kids under 18

Teen to Teen Peer Counseling Hotline USA
📞877-YOUTHLINE (968-8454)

The Trevor Project USA: LGBTQ Youth 24/7
📞866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386)

Your Life Your Voice USA
📞800-448-3000 YLYV Teens/Youth Phone 24/7
Live Chat Mondays – Thursdays 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm CST / Email

More lists are here: http://suicideprevention.wikia.com/wiki/USA

For state/county-specific hotlines and non-U.S. hotlines: http://suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html

If you are struggling, please reach out! Help is there, even if it doesn’t seem that way.

Please share! You may never know who you will help with this information.

You can also view my TEDx talk which discusses my history of suicide, subsequent recovery, and lessons that we can ALL learn here: https://youtu.be/GVkL3glwL8g

How to Stop Temporarily Becoming Pro-suicide Prevention

The heartfelt and emotional post you wrote about Anthony Bourdain?

I URGE you to:

Write a message like that about your friend who suffers from depression or another mental illness and send it to them.

Send a message like that to the person who posts on Facebook about how depressed they are. Especially if the post is concerning.

Call up someone you know who has history of suicide and tell them how you feel about them.

Text, Snapchat, hang out, grab a coffee, Skype, reach out in any way to friends you know struggle.

Heck, say it to *anyone* you feel that way to!

If people who die by suicide had heard heartfelt, supportive messages like that *before* they died, I wonder what a difference that would make.

We need to stop becoming temporarily pro-suicide prevention right after a famous person dies by suicide and elongate its impact by providing more kind words and support to each other. Loving someone from afar is not what prevents suicide: SUPPORT does.

#mentalhealthmatters #suicideprevention

If you watched my TEDx talk, you need to read this now

Forceful title I know, but this is important. I have gotten so much positive feedback for the talk I’ve done. “You’re inspirational, I can’t believe what you went through, you are so strong, you are making a difference, you are a model for recovery, thank you.” This is not to brag, this is to make a very important point.

If you felt that way, please do this: Channel those feelings of amazement, respect, and belief that you have for me into the people who are having mental health challenges AROUND you. Don’t just let me be the person that earns your respect.

If you’re a clinician who works with people with mental illness, take that belief in me and put it in the people you work with.

If your child is struggling with mental health challenges, take the hope you have from my talk and have utmost hope for your child.

If you yourself are in a low point, take any inspiration you have as a result of the talk and use it to inspire yourself.

I did this talk because I want people who are struggling to have hope that they can be better AND that the people around them believe in them, that they can get better.

Don’t let your hope end with me.

As I said in my talk, it doesn’t matter how bad things are: YOU. CAN. GET. BETTER. We need to support those who are struggling, and it starts with believing in them – the same way you believe in me.

Hufsa Ahmad - Mental Health Speaker, Coach & Therapist

Relapse is Part of Recovery, TEDx talk is out!

“Relapses are opportunities for growth, not something to be ashamed.”

“We all need to be supportive of the people who relapse, because we all relapse.”


Just some quotes from my new TEDx talk, which is about how the lowest points in our lives bring us insight and are NOT something to be ashamed of. I talked about my mental health history but expand challenges to apply to anyone and everyone – we are all in the same boat, which means we ALL need to support each other. Check it out!

Please share, like, comment!


My TEDx talk is in 5 days!

Hello folks!

My TEDx is in 5 days! I can’t believe it. To prepare for the TEDx talk:

25 times, I practiced the whole presentation in front of other people, who, in turn, gave me feedback and advice.

At least 1 person per practice came up to me afterwards and told me how much the talk impacted their lives.

50 people talked to me about their relapses (low points) in their lives and what insight they brought.

7 actors/video producers worked together to create an extremely dramatic audio clip that moves the audience.

9 people helped chip in funds to pay for hotel, travel, food, and ground transportation during the trip.

Countless people gave me advice on directions, what clothes to wear, how to deal with the weather, so much encouragement, and more.

This TEDx talk was truly a team effort. Thanks to everyone involved. I am so excited for this.

Let the world know, “Relapse is Part of Recovery!”

The talk is on Saturday, April 7 at 12pm in Tinton Falls, NJ. If you want to go, reserve your free tickets here: https://www.ranneyschool.org/page/tedx-ranney


Hi everyone! Hope that you are well! I have some great news…I will be giving a TEDx talk in New Jersey on April 7, 2018! My talk is called “Relapse is Part of Recovery.” I’m interviewing 100 people to really flesh out my talk, and here is a summary:

“Relapse is part of recovery” is a term frequently used in the addiction world to encourage people to continue if they lose their sobriety. But relapses (which I define as “rock bottoms”) happen outside of addiction and mental illness: there are relapses in careers, relationships, societies, identities, etc.

When people relapse, they are often faced with shame, disappointment, and see it as a failure. But what I’m finding is that frequently, as a result of a relapse, we gain some sort of insight that changes our lives for the better.

My talk argues that we need to rethink our views of relapse and how we handle relapses. We need to recognize that they are frequently an opportunity for growth. When someone relapses, we need to be supportive, encouraging, and hopeful. And that, my friends, will lead to “A Better Future” (the theme of the TEDx I am part of).

I am documenting my whole journey of building this TEDx talk on instagram: @hufsathegreat. I can’t tell you how many people are coming together to help me with this talk: allowing me to interview them, sending me pictures…I even have local actors who are going to help me film a scene for my talk. Wow!

Stay tuned! I’ll be posting about some of the stories I have been hearing!