Preventing suicide: A resource for establishing a crisis line
World Health Organization
Improved community detection, intervention in and management of suicidal behaviour are critical to preventing suicide. Crisis lines emerged in the 1950s with the advent of the home telephone in high-income countries and are now available in almost all countries of the world in one form or another (see Annex 1 for a short history of crisis lines). The telephone was seen as an attractive channel for providing intervention services because it was accessible to many, allowed a more private conversation than would occur face-to-face and covered many locations. Since then, crisis lines have proliferated throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. In lower-resourced countries, crisis lines are sometimes the only agencies working on suicide prevention. It is estimated that there are over 1000 crisis lines worldwide.