Messages are spreading across the Internet – in particular Facebook – that claim to show the National Suicide Prevention phone number.
However for many readers in the UK, the phone number is going to be incorrect.
An example can be seen below –
Would 10 Of My Friends Please Copy & Paste?
0800 273 8255
It’s Ok Not To Be Ok
In the United States, there is a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number, and that number is 1-800-273-8255. In the United States, 1-800 numbers are toll free (free of charge.)
In the UK, it is 0800 numbers that are free of charge. Someone has converted the US phone number to a UK number (by replacing the 1 with a 0) and asserted it works in the UK too. It doesn’t. People who call that number will be given an incorrect number error message.
In the UK, there is no organisation or hotline known as the “National Suicide Prevention”. However there are plenty of phone numbers a person who is seeking help can call.
These include –
The Samaritans – 116 123 (free of charge)
Hopeline UK – 0800 068 4141 (free of charge from landline, mobiles may vary.)
Childline – 0800 1111 designed specifically for children and young adults, and free of charge.
PAPYRUS – 0800 068 4141 designed for young adults
Of course we don’t need to explain why circulating information that is inaccurate regarding such a serious subject is not a good idea. If you do want to raise awareness, please ensure the information you share is correct.