Suicide hotline operators were asked: "What's the call that keeps you up at night?" These are some of the best answers.
1/18 Had one where a suicidal person sounded just like a high school friend, and the call dropped out.
2/18 This girl in her senior year in high school called and as soon as I answered the phone my stomach dropped. She was screaming and crying. I went through the general questions. She told me that she was being bullied online by her high school "friends" and they had turned their back on her. She hadn't told her parents. She was alone in the house and she said she was going to kill herself. My eyes were tearing up at this point and my stomach felt sick. I did not feel qualified. After talking with her for a little over an hour (we're supposed to keep calls at 20 min or less) I found out that she was the star soccer player, the valedictorian, and had been accepted into her top colleges (which her friends hadn't). I said do you think maybe these "friends" were just jealous? And she stopped crying and said yeah that might be it.
We talked for a while about all that she has going for her, and that she would soon be out of high school. And I'll never forget this. At the end she said "I'm so glad you of all people picked up. I feel like you really get me. I would have killed myself tonight if you hadn't answered." That was the 2nd time in my life that I ever felt proud of myself (the first was when I got my first paycheck). Not the kind of pride where you want to tell everyone, but the quiet kind where you just want to keep it to yourself. Like I couldn't stop smiling on my ride home. That call stuck with me.
3/18 Sometimes the saddest stories are the ones from the younger kids: 13 or 14 year old girls who are cutting along with having an eating disorder and they have no friends at school. They're sad because they're often locked in a system that won't or can't help them. My heart broke when a girl told me that her school's advisors/counsellors were assigned a ridiculous number of students per advisor and couldn't make time for her. Nor was she allowed to switch counsellors - she was stuck with the one she was assigned to for the rest of the year (and IIRC, the rest of high school). It said a lot about the state of education funding, school management, and the sanctity (or lack thereof) of teenagers' mental health.
4/18 I volunteered at a teen suicide hotline when I was 16. I had a friend that was really cute and she was passionate about helping people out in rough situations so I agreed to go. I brought along my best friend, as a wingman mostly, and we met at a small building with three or four phones. The girl was so happy that I came. We started talking the evening away and it turned into a fun night.
We got two or three calls our first hour. The first was from Mickey Mouse, the second was from Bart Simpson and the third was someone saying they were going to commit Suicide because of how hard their life was being so attractive. Joke after joke after joke. The number for the hotline was printed on the back of all the student ID's from grade 7-12. Not the most mature ages to deal with so it didn't surprise me.
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