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Crisis hotlines are a means for accessing help immediately when individuals are so overwhelmed with emotional distress that it compromises their ability to cope and function and they consider killing themselves. An understanding of the national and international experience, as well as of the research and standards of practice emerging from crisis hotlines, is vital for any clinician and policymaker interested in promoting access to care, de-escalating crises, or preventing suicide. This entry provides a brief history of crisis hotlines, with a focus on the research, industry-wide standards, and practices emerging from federally funded crisis hotline initiatives in the early 21st century, and the implications of these developments on clinical care practices and access to behavioral health services.

History

The purpose of a crisis hotline begins ...

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