19 Thoughts I Had While On Hold To A Mental Health Helpline

CN: Mental Health, Depression, Suicide.

Carl Anka
2 min readJun 1, 2017
Photo via Rowan Neal on Unsplash

“Hold? I’m legitimately being put on hold on a helpline?”

“You are position 1 in the queue. I bet they tell that to everyone.”

“I need a pen. I need a pen and paper in case things get bad.”

“Fucks sake there’s never a pen in this house when you need it.”

“How can you be a writer and never have pen and paper to hand?”

“Damn this is a mellow instrumental. A lot of thought must go into what music can calm people down.”

“God I stink. I haven’t washed in days. I hope they don’t take me into hospital while I stink.”

“Or worse, when my phone battery is low.”

“Am I ok to be having these thoughts when on hold?”

“Fuck imagine if other people are on hold, dozens of souls living in immeasurable pain, waiting for help.”

“Oh the music swapped! To discount Toto — Africa remixes.”

“Man pan flutes are good for calming down.”

“Christ what happened to your handwriting? You’re just scribbling down nonsense here.”

“Seriously a lot of music must go into what music gets played on these lines.”

“Am I paying for this call? On a 0808 number?”

“I suppose it’s only right if I do.”

“Oh shit a dial tone!”

“Do I tell them my real name?”

“I’ll tell them my real name…. Let’s get better.”

Talk to someone if things get really bad

About 4 months into unemployment I cut my hand badly and had to go to hospital. While a lovely A&E nurse stitched me up he asked me if anything was wrong. I explained stuff, how I was living on my own, how I had no job, and how I just felt a bit blue. He recommended I give a helpline a call.

“Sometimes what you need is a caring ear, rather than a wagging tongue”.

Talk to someone if things get bad.

Talk to the wonderful people at the Samaritans,

Charity CALM has a fantastic service too.

Think about talking to your local GP.

Talking to a stranger can sometimes allow people to talk about things they’d normally be reluctant about sharing. You are never alone in this, so explore your options.

If you’re a person who likes to read, The Help Guide has some good practical advice for people living with depression. It may also be useful to take a look at the University of Exeter’s Clinical psychology department — its Mood Disorder Clinic is good for both advice and useful resources for people trying to figure it all out.



Carl Anka

I just write about things I’m curious about and upload it when you’re not looking.