It’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month; Here are Hotlines for Supporting North Carolinians’ Mental Health

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Just as adults have mental health, little kids have mental health, too, but it’s a lot of work to provide the care and support that they need for that optimal mental and physical health we’re all striving for. And it takes so many different people to do that – caregivers and parents, community members, health care workers, child care, educators, and beyond.

To strengthen and enhance the infant and early childhood mental health system in North Carolina, it takes all kinds of resources and ensures that they are easily accessible, even at the most inconvenient times. That’s where hotlines often come in, to support folks in crisis. 

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month so we wanted to take this moment to highlight hotlines supporting North Carolinians’ mental health. Currently, the majority of people experiencing a mental health crisis end up calling 911. Now, more new hotlines exist specifically for mental health related emergencies.

Suicide & Crisis Hotline (988)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now: 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

With the 988 hotline here, a gap in mental health crisis care is filled. This hotline was formed out of our nation’s need for mental health crisis services. According to Mental Health America, almost one in five people (47.1 million) in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. That number increased by about 1.5 million over last year’s report. Additionally, about 10% of youth in the U.S have severe depression, and suicidal ideation rates are highest among this group. 

988 is replacing the long, harder to dial number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline and is available for any kind of mental health crisis issue. People who call or text the 988 number will be connected to a trained counselor at a crisis center closest to them. 

The line eliminates long waiting time periods when speaking to a professional, gets rid of insurance barriers individuals face when seeking immediate mental health care, and reduces confrontations with law enforcement that previously existed when dialing 911 for mental health emergencies. 

Although it will take time for 988 to reach its ultimate goal, they have already been able to answer over 90% of their chats and calls, creating hope and encouraging a change in the way we think about and treat mental health conditions.


So what about other support services, especially those specific to North Carolina?


Hope4NC (1-855-587-3463)

Hope4NC Hotline, Hope is here. Photo: NC DHHS

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services created a program called Hope4NC to help individuals during times of crisis.

Although Hope4NC was originally formed to help individuals cope and build resilience during natural disasters like hurricanes and floods, the program is now available for North Carolinians to speak to a live professional 24 hours a day, seven days a week about any mental health related issue. 

The program is also available to anyone in North Carolina’s 100 counties. Hope4NC helps with different  kinds of stress responses that can include: feeling alone, irritability, difficulty sleeping, constant worrying, feeling stuck, and can even offer advice if you’re looking for ideas to stay calm and healthy.

Hope4NC is completely free, anonymous, and backed by a trained staff. According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services, sessions are conducted in nontraditional, community-based settings such as community centers, churches, libraries and homes. 

Hope4Healers Helpline for Professionals (919-226-2002)

The Hope4Healers helpline is a new program in partnership with the North Carolina Psychological Foundation, according to NCDHHS. This helpline specifically focuses on mental health support for healthcare professionals, first responders, emergency medical specialists, child care professionals, educators, and other staff who work in educational or healthcare settings.

Healers that are at the front lines of North Carolina’s challenges often experience burnout at some point in their career. Secondary stress and burnout can take a severe toll on one’s mental health. That’s why NCDHHS created the Hope4Healers Helpline, which supports those professionals working directly to overcome North Carolina’s challenges. 

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re most likely in a position where this helpline can support you. The program uses licensed mental health professionals to offer the most effective support. This line is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

NC Family Resource Line

The NC Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center promotes safe and healthy environments for children in child care settings. Their toll free number, 1-800-367-2229, is part of the NC Family Health Resource Line. Information, resources, and referrals to the child care communities are provided in both English and Spanish. They provide consultation and technical assistance for Child Care Health Consultants and other professionals working with child care programs.


National Maternal Mental Health Hotline

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline
National Maternal Mental Health Hotline

Pregnancy and a new baby can bring a range of emotions. Many parents feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious, or exhausted at different times during their pregnancy or after having a baby. The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline can help. Call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746). Visit the Health Resources & Services Administration for more information. 


More Wellness Resources are accessible through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The NC Early Childhood Foundation is a close partner of EarlyWell, which builds on the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative and its prioritized actions to help ensure North Carolina’s social-emotional health system is accessible and high-quality. Learn more about EarlyWell and other NC initiatives working to impact young children’s mental health on the Pathways Action Map. Explore the Pathways Action Map to learn more about prioritized actions to ensure North Carolina’s social-emotional health system is accessible and high-quality, and initiatives working to impact them.