In 2023, the Boys Town National Hotline took over 100,000 calls and web contacts (emails, chats and texts). These are just a few examples of the questions commonly asked and the answers they received from Hotline Consultants. The Hotline is available 24/7 at 800-448-3000.
1. Suicidal Ideation
Q: I am having suicidal thoughts constantly. How do I push them to the back of my mind?
A: It can be frustrating when you're trying to cope with these thoughts but not feeling like it's working. It's good that you have been making that effort to deal with these feelings.
Q: Each time I get upset or stressed, I end up crying. Can you help me?
A: You can't change or control others. But, you can control your responses. Take a notebook and write down things that you could do instead of crying when you are stressed or frustrated.
Q: Can you help me with my depression? I feel like I'm useless and never should have been born.
A: The feelings of depression that you are describing seem to be overbearing and trying to take over your way of thinking about your life. These can be difficult feelings to manage.
4. Relationships - Significant Other
Q: How do I get over someone I like? I need to move on, they have caused me mental pain.
A: It shows a lot of maturity that you realize the harm this person might be causing or has caused and that you need to move on. You are right as well that it is not always easy.
5. Parent/Child Relationships
Q: After school is a difficult time for me and my family. How can I make it better?
A: There seems to be a difference between how you feel in the environment of school and the environment of home. You said that you aren't abused at all, but sometimes you get yelled at for things you can't control.
Q: I don't have a lot of friends. How do I make more?
A: It can be hard to make friends. Perhaps you are shy or quiet, and you might not know where to start. Sometimes making new friends means taking a risk, and talking to someone new.
Q: I feel lost, like I am stuck in a bottle and can't leave. How can I overcome this feeling?
A: The lonely feeling you described sounds very overwhelming. It can be really difficult when you are having negative thoughts and are unable to find solutions that work or support to help.
Q: I was sexually assaulted. I feel so broken and shattered. How do I carry on?
A: There is no right or wrong way to feel because you have a right to whatever you are feeling whether it is loss, scared, embarrassed, worried, or shattered like you described.
Q: Sometimes I cut too deep and I am scared to tell my dad. How do I tell him I want my life to end?
A: We are so glad that you are reaching out for support and are looking for ways to talk to your dad. We have a couple of ways that you can tell your dad about your cutting, your suicidal thoughts and the feelings that go along with those thoughts.
10. Sibling Relationships
Q: I don't want to have a negative relationship with my brother. What do I do when he makes me angry?
A: It sounds like everything that is going on with your brother is causing a lot of stress in your life. It can become very overwhelming when you see what is going on with your brother and you feel like you can't do anything to stop it.
Why Do Teens Call the Hotline?
Teens reach out for help for a variety of reasons, the important thing is that they reach out. Below is a snapshot of the number one reason teens called our crisis hotline in 2018.