crisis helplines

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In honor of it being Mental health month I wanted to dedicate a personal post to my best friend Ian. Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of losing him to suicide. Ian suffered from depression and thought there was no way out. If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness and may be suicidal I encourage you to please call the crisis helpline at 1-800-273-TALK . Your life matters just like Ian’s did. Please share and repost to spread the word. You’ll always be in our hearts Ian ❤

In defence of SonTails

I was going to try to post some other stuff on my new blog before I got into this, but recent asshattery towards SonTails shippers - people actively posting their hate to the tag and including SonTails artists/writers in their mentions, verbally attacking them and accusing them of being paedophiles - prompted me to make this post now.

So, here we go.

First up, it is absolutely not cool to accuse people of being paedophiles (and trying to get them reported/run them off Tumblr) simply because you don’t like a fictional pairing that they like. It’s a bottom-of-the-barrel low move, and it belittles the awfulness of actual child sex abuse. Go make an actual difference in the world instead of creating strawmen on Tumblr to stroke your morality boner.

With that out of the way, and even though no one should have to justify their love of a fictional/game character pairing to strangers who are seeking THEM out to harass them, I’m going to put forward some points about the characters in question and my stance on why there is nothing ‘morally’ wrong with shipping Sonic and Tails together.

- SEGA doesn’t consider Tails too young/immature to have romantic interests. In fact, he might even be the ‘main character’ with the most canonical romantic interests throughout the entire franchise. Without looking anything up, here are just a few characters that Tails has either crushed on or shown to have a potential love interest with: Fiona bot/Fiona Fox (Archie), Mina Mongoose (Archie), Cosmo the Seedrian (Sonic X), Zooey (Sonic Boom). In almost every spin-off canon, he’s depicted as being old enough/mature enough to have romantic interests. In most of those canons, none of his friends seem weird about it or give him shit about it, either.

- Tails is not literally an analogue for an equivalent 8-year-old human child. For fuck’s sake. Have you met an actual 8-year-old? No one bats an eyelid about him flying a plane, building complex/dangerous technology, messing with Chaos energy, living by himself in his own house, or risking his life on a daily basis. But depict him holding hands/kissing someone and everyone loses their fucking minds. HAVING SAID THAT, it’s obviously not okay to keep him at 8 years old in a physical relationship, which is why pretty much all (certainly every one I’ve known) SonTails shippers choose to age him up. Nothing much changes with his personality in doing that, because he was never anything like an 8-year-old anyway, but the idea that people like this ship because they see him as a literal 8-year-old and want him to be like a child is such a strawman.

- Speaking of which, aging up in order to pair characters off romantically has happened in at least one canon! In Mobius: 25 Years Later, Tails had married Mina and had two kids, implying they must have… gasp… had sex. But the Archie writers are totally paedos for imagining that someone who was once a kid might one day have a romantic partner… right??

- The outrage is so disproportional to the content on the tags. Most SonTails fanworks are just pure fluff. Honestly, a lot of the stuff tagged as SonTails is literally stuff that happens in the games/shows/comics anyway. Hand-holding, hugs, watching the sunset together, smiling at each other, head fur ruffles, sleeping side-by-side… all of those things have happened in one official canon or another. If you’re offended by pictures/stories where Sonic and Tails are being ridiculous and fluffy with each other, then you probably should avoid all media with them in, too. Fluff stuff gets as much hate as hardcore stuff just because of the implication of it being romantic, which is really sad. Shippers and non-shippers alike should be able to enjoy pictures of Sonic and Tails being cute together, but instead it divides them, and that’s too bad.

- The idea of two people who are such close friends and eventually fall in love is really sweet and relatable. It’s not creepy, and it can be really comforting. I have always been a sucker for best-friends-become-lovers romantic arcs. That is what drew me to the ship. And in most Sonic canons, Sonic and Tails are undeniably the best of friends. They are extremely close. Does that mean they have to be a romantic item? Of course not. No one is forcing anyone to take it to that end. It’s not canon. But for young people still figuring themselves out, it’s just such a warm fuzzy fluffy ship to identify with. Having someone like that in your life - a best friend, someone you feel safe with, who you can tease and rile up but also trust with your life, who knows you better than anyone else, and you just have so much fun hanging out with them - relationship GOALS, man.

- Nonsensical/unrealistic canon ages aside, age gaps really aren’t a big deal as you get older. Seriously. 7 years between two people is not a generational chasm, especially once you’re an adult. (Worth also noting that Tails has been 11, 12 and even 40-something, canonically! I’m sure that people who see it as a paedophilic ship would still see it that way, even with Tails the same canon age as Amy - which is interesting). The younger person in a couple doesn’t remain a perpetual child just because they are younger. That’s some patronizing shit right there.

- Finally, and most importantly, shipping Sonic and Tails together doesn’t hurt anyone. No one has to justify loving two characters and thinking that they work well together romantically and have the potential to fall in love as they grow older. If your mind goes to paedophilia when you see SonTails fanworks, even when the artist/writer has made it clear that there are no minors involved, that’s all you, friend. You’re the one thinking of it that way, not the artist/writer.

Btw, you are not hurting paedophiles when you attack artists/writers. I hate to pull out this card, but two can play the victimized game… You’re hurting young LGBT people who relate to/with the characters, depressed/anxious people who draw comfort from the thought of a best friends ship, people struggling to make a living on their art, and just Sonic fans in general - we are a divided enough community already without this hateful slanderous behaviour.

If you’re thinking of potentially trying to ruin someone’s life by labelling them a paedophile for liking SonTails, you need to take a good long look at your life choices. Think about what’s actually important in the fight against child abuse/exploitation. Volunteer at a crisis helpline, donate to a shelter, demand laws that prevent child trafficking and abusive ‘troubled teen’ therapies. Your energies are far more productive elsewhere.

And to everyone posting awesome SonTails art, fic and headcanons/rambles… please don’t stop. The SonTails tag needs more love. I love it all so much, and I’ve got your back :) Sorry for TL;DRing in this tag.

Youth & Teen Hotlines
  • National Youth Crisis Support: 1-800-448-4663
  • Youth America Hotline: 1-877-YOUTHLINE (1-877-968-8454)
  • Covenant House Nine-Line (Teens): 1-800-999-9999
  • Boys Town National: 1-800-448-3000
  • Teen Helpline: 1-800-400-0900
  • TeenLine: 1-800-522-8336
  • Youth Crisis Support: 1-800-448-4663 or 1-800-422-0009
  • Runaway Support (All Calls are Confidential): 800-231-694
  • National Runaway Hotline: (US only) 1800-231-6946
  • Child Helpline: (UK Only) 0800-111
  • Kids Helpline: (Australia) 1800-55-1800
  • Youth to Youth: (UK only) 020-8896-3675
  • Kids Help Phone Canada: 1800-688-6868
  • National Youth Crisis Hotline:(US only) 800-442-442-4673

anonymous asked:

That suicide chatline is affiliated with a homophobic organization. A better alternative is the Lifeline Crisis Chat. I'm pretty sure, at least.

Hm I googled it and found a bunch of posts that said that’s true. I reblogged one and then noticed that one comment on it said, “Myself and another board member for Hopeline, the parent of IMAlive, identify as gay, and we have never had a homophobic interaction, ever, with TWLOHA. I assure you that IMAlive is a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth, otherwise I wouldn’t be on it’s BOD.”

I was like… ??? so I looked deeper. TWLOHA is short for the org “To Write Love On Her Arms”; I googled “to write love on her arms homophobic” and found this from the queer blog PunkOut:

“The anti-gay rumors stem from the fact that in its very early days, TWLOHA supported Mercy Ministries, an organization that seemed very much in line with their ideals. However, once a Mercy survivor reached out to TWLOHA and shared her story of the mistreatment she endured at Mercy Ministries, TWLOHA immediately pulled their funding and retracted any affiliation with them.” 

They also link to this tumblr post that talks about how TWLOHA’s Find Help Section includes “The Trevor Project, The Jed Foundation (Love is Louder came from Jed). They actively have supported the LGBT community. They openly state they are not a Christian Organization (twloha.com/faq).” 

So it looks like it is all a misunderstanding from their early says thank goodness. 

While I was at it I figured I’d google “lifeline crisis chat homophobic” and I didn’t find anything negative about it either, yay :D  

I did find a good list of various texting options from Reddit, which I’ll quote here cause more resources is good, and because the way they explain how to use a crisis chat is very useful. they also have some international phone numbers if you click through to the original Reddit post: 

“please remember that crisis does not just mean suicide - if you’re having a hard time with your anxiety, depression, personal issues, self harm, family issues, you name it - if it’s pulling at your chest and you’re in emotional pain that is cause enough call/text reach out. Your issues are not minimal they are YOUR issues and trust me when I say the person on the other end wants to help and is there for you. I have multiple versions of this list but this one is broken into region, and I’m not even finished with it I have but here it goes (I hope this copies over ok)

“Suicide/Crisis Hotlines Phone/Web

USA

“Crisis Text Line | Text “START” to 741-741
Text option 24/7 crisis support by trained crisis intervention people (staff & volunteers)

“Common Ground | Call: 800 231 1127 | Web Chat 
“Mental health services for youth offering phone & web crisis lines - help with suicide, bullying, depression, anxiety, and other issues. Hours: M-F 4pm-10pm EST

“Lifeline Crisis Chat | Online Crisis Chat
“Hours: 2pm to 2am EST 7 days a week

“Suicide Prevention & Crisis Line | Call: 800 273 TALK | Online Option**
“Hours: M-F 6pm to 9pm EST

“Iowa Crisis Support | 24/7 Crisis Line: 319 351 0140 OR 855 325 4296 | Crisis Chat | Youth Crisis Chat
“Chat services in both English and Mandarin. Crisis chat hours: English: 2pm - 2am EST Everyday | Mandarin: M-F 8pm to 10pm EST

Australia

“Lifeline: 24/7 Hotline: 13 11 14 | Live Crisis Chat

Canada

“Crisis Support Centre | 24/7 Distress Line 780-482-HELP (4357) | Rural Distress Line: 1-800-232-7288 | Live Crisis Chat

“Distress Centre | 24/7 Hotline: (403)266-HELP | IM Chat for adults |Connecteen for teens

“Kid’s Help Phone | 1-800-668-6868 (English Version)
A Canadian site for youth up to age 20, offering crisis counselling via phone hotline, or IM Chat

“Manitoba Support Services | Toll-Free Stress Line: 1-866-367-3276 | Online Chat
“Telephone & Online counseling for Farmers, Rural and Northern Manitobians.

“Tel-Jeunes | Tel: 1-800-263-2266 | Text: 514-600-1002
“French-Canadian phone hotline, text hotline, and online chat as well as forums for youth (18 and under)

“United Kingdom

“The CALM Zone | Nationwide: 0800 58 58 58 | London: 0808 802 58 58 | Web Chat London based crisis site for men in the UK - crisis support is 5pm-midnight 265 days a year.

“Childline | Call: 0800 1111 | Online Chat A 24/7 helpline for children and youth who live in the UK. Includes a phone hotline, message boards, email, and web chat services. Also features an “Explore” area with mental health info, and a “Play” section with games.

“Get Connected | Phone: 0808 808 4994 | Web Chat UK based crisis services offering phone, email, text, and live chat for 25 years and younger.

“Leeds Nightline | Listening Service: 0113 380 1281 | Information Service: 0113 380 1380 Web Chat
“A peer support service run by and for Leeds students, during term time in the UK. Offers a phone hotline and IM chat. Hours: 8pm to midnight GMT currently closed for summer to open back in a month or so

“Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Services | Helpline: 0808 800 1212 |Chat Line Crisis respite home & help line with live chat available. Hours: IM available 6pm - 1:30pm BST

“Strathclyde & Caledonia Nightline | Phone: 0141 55 22 555 | Chat Service
Confidential phone & online hotline/info service run by trained students of the Glasgow Caedonian & Strathclyde Universities. Hours: 7pm-7am M-F GMT

India

“Maithri | + 0484 2540530
“Operates in Kochi in the state of Kerala, south-west India offering crisis support via phone, letter, and face to face contact.

“Lifeline Foundation | Helpline: 24637401 / 7432
“Lifeline India has email & phone support for people around Kolkata.”

(and of course there are a ton of international suicide hotline masterposts floating around Tumblr for people who can talk on the phone)

anonymous asked:

I am feeling really suicidal at the moment. I don't want to bother anyone anymore with my stupid mind and thoughts. I only need a plan now.

The problem with being depressed is that it often makes you feel worthless or like you are bothering people when you aren’t.  There are people - such as the volunteers here, on helplines, in mental health chats, etc. - that care and want to help.  They wouldn’t give up their time to help others if it bothered them, or if they didn’t want to spend their time doing so.  You aren’t bothering anyone.  You’re hurting, and you deserve help and support.

Please consider using a helpline or a mental health chat.  Don’t hurt yourself.  There are resources available to you.

-Toki

Helpline Chats (Free):

Suicide Helplines:

Never Alone

Writer:  @phanburnhamizzard

Beta: @cloechecksmyflow :  amazing and thorough and wonderful!

Doodler:  @i-like-you-thats-why-i :  talented and awesome!

Triggers:  Major character depression

Summary:  Phil suffers a depressive episode, and in a reversal of roles, it is up to Dan to help him through it. 

Words: 855

Dan took Phil’s head in his hands and pressed his forehead against his best friend’s.  They stood in silence for a moment, until Dan began to speak.

“Phil, you are hurting and I will help you.  I know you are scared, but I will be with you every step of the way.  You are not alone.”

Phil’s eyes welled up with tears and he began to pull away.

“No,” said Dan, gently guiding Phil’s face back towards his.  “Don’t be embarrassed, Philly.  It’s me.  It’s Bear.  I have been through this before and I know what you are feeling.  It is not your fault and it will not last forever.  I just need you to let me help you.  Will you do that for me?”

Phil paused, then nodded.  Dan tilted up his chin and kissed Phil gently on the forehead.  

“You will be alright, Phil.  I promise,” Dan said, looking up to the ceiling and silently praying, “Please?  Help me help him?”

The next day, in the doctor’s office, Phil explained the symptoms he had been having:  his lack of enjoyment of things he usually loved; his constant fatigue; his irritability; his loss of appetite; his loss of sexual drive; and his loss of humor.   Dan reported Phil’s slow movement patterns, his lethargy, his monotone voice, and his lack of eye contact.

The doctor diagnosed a Moderate Depression, prescribed an antidepressant and referred Phil to a therapist that he was to make an appointment with right away.  

They filled the prescription on the way home and Dan snuggled in next to Phil on the couch when they returned to their flat, holding him close.

“I’m weak?” Phil asked, the first words he had spoken since leaving the doctor’s office.

“No, Philly, you are strong.  Remember, the doctor said that this was a chemical imbalance. And a temporary one, most likely.  The medicine will help you.”

The therapist they saw together two days later confirmed that.  “Depression is not a sign of weakness or a flaw of any kind, Philip.  It is a chemical imbalance that causes your brain to function incorrectly.  That dysfunction can lead you to come to the wrong conclusions.  It is only temporary, and you will feel better.”

The therapist had said Vitamin D would help Phil feel better, so each day,  Dan packed a picnic lunch and they sat beneath a large, old oak and ate ham sandwiches as Dan prattled on about Kanye.   At first, Phil remained mostly mute, but as the days passed and the medicine began to take effect, he began to speak: softly and in a monotone, but at least he was expressing himself.  

P.J. came over to film a collaboration with Dan, and made it a point to get Phil’s input on the camera set up and the lighting– even though he didn’t need it.  Dan watched with an ever-widening grin as Phil slowly began to take charge, moving the light over by a fraction of a centimeter, and adjusting the camera focus and angle just so.  

A week later, Dan made a pun and Phil laughed.  They both froze.

“Phil?”

“Oh my God!” Phil exclaimed, “That felt…that felt so good!”

“Phil.  Phil you’re talking,” Dan said, his jaw hanging open in surprise.   After two weeks of near silence, Phil regained the ability to speak freely.  

A few days later, Dan found him watching Buffy.   He slipped in beside him on the couch and wrapped his arm around his shoulder.  

“Missed you, Philly.”

“Thank you, Bear,” Phil replied, laying his head down on Dan’s shoulder.  “Thank you for helping me come back.”

“You’re welcome, Phil,” Dan said, his voice warm, “Don’t leave me again, okay?”

The next months were difficult, but they worked hard together at home, in therapy, and at work.  

This was a team that not even a major illness could stop.  

Phil’s next video, his first in months, was about Depressive Disorder.    He discussed his experience with grace and humor, and then spent time educating his followers on what to do if they found themselves fighting a similar battle.

Dan stood behind the camera, admiring the courage and the strength he saw standing before him.

His beautiful friend.  So alive, so vital, so…up.  

“So, if you or someone you know is suffering from Depression,” Phil said as he concluded his video, “don’t be embarrassed or scared like I was.  Talk to a friend and your doctor and let them help you!  And remember you are not alone.  You are the bees knees!”

Dan couldn’t stifle his laugh off-camera.

“What?!”  Phil said, smiling as he looked up at Dan.

“The ‘bees knees’? What is this, 1923 America?”

“I thought it would be funny!” Phil laughed.  “And it rhymes as well!”

“Dan doesn’t appreciate my humor today,” Phil laughed, rolling his eyes and smiling as the camera kept rolling, “But that’s okay!  And if you need help, you can call the Teen Crisis Helpline at 800-784-2433, or call 999 or 911. ”

“Just remember,” Phil said as he concluded his video, “you have a friend to help you!  You are never alone.”

theguardian.com
Despair on the frontline of Britain's homelessness crisis

The anxiety and emotion that pours into the headsets of crisis advice workers in this crowded fifth-floor Sheffield call centre offers a snapshot of the UK’s worsening homelessness crisis. Advisers at Shelter’s helpline are processing more calls than ever. Last year there was a 15% increase in the volume of calls – a reflection, staff think, of the degree to which people are struggling with rising house prices, soaring rents, cuts to housing benefit and the long shadow of the recession. A day spent at the centre provides a clear picture of the kinds of housing problems people face, as pressure on council house stock intensifies and radical changes to benefit entitlements are introduced.

An employment adviser calls on behalf of a 23-year-old client whom he is trying to help find work – a process that is complicated by the fact that the man, and his young girlfriend, have nowhere to live and are sleeping on the streets. The girlfriend is 18 weeks pregnant and, for reasons that are unclear, her father has thrown her out. Sharon Reeves, one of the helpline advisers, calmly explains the best course of action. “If she is pregnant, they would be in priority need. It sounds like the council has just fobbed them off. They should have provided them with a bed and breakfast to stay in. They should really go back to the council and challenge it,” she tells the man.

“He’s been three times already. I told him not to leave this time until he gets a B&B or a hostel. Anything is better than being on the streets,” the employment adviser replies, audibly distressed by the situation faced by the couple. Reeves is touched that the employment adviser has been dismayed enough by his client’s situation to want to try to help. “Some people are still shocked, but it doesn’t surprise me – I hear it a lot,” she says. She has been working in the call centre for five months and is already familiar with similar situations. “All the calls are awful when you first start. Now it already feels commonplace.”

She appreciates that council staff in housing departments are under increased pressure. “It’s not easy for the council; they haven’t got any housing stock, but they just need to find them a B&B for the meantime,” she says. She moves quickly to her next call, which comes from a man who has recently come out of prison and is alternating between sleeping on the floor of his sister’s home and sleeping on the streets.

Another adviser takes a call from a young woman from London explaining that she has been forced to flee her home because of domestic violence, that she moved temporarily to a women’s refuge, which didn’t work out. She subsequently moved with her nine-year-old daughter to sleeping on the sofa of her mum’s house, but has been kicked out. When she visited the council, the housing officer suggested that she return to her marital home as some time had elapsed (five months) since her husband was violent towards her. “The woman was really horrible to me. She looked at me like dirt,” she says.

“She shouldn’t have said that. It’s unlawful,” the Shelter adviser explains. “If you have been the victim of domestic violence, you shouldn’t be asked to go back there.”

Read all of this.