Back to the ONLINE LIFELINE
We understand just how difficult it can be to reach out for help. We're really glad that you are here. We're here for you!
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers (FAQ's) regarding the YLC Online Lifeline:
How does it work?
We need you to create a free, confidential account with us which you can do by clicking the highlighted words 'sign up now' and then you can log in to your YLC account OR you can sign in using your Facebook Account.
You can then submit your message online to us via the online submission form. This is not an instant chat service.
You will receive an acknowledgement message from us and soon after you will receive an online response from us. You should receive an alert from us either from your YLC account or from Facebook that a message is waiting for you.
It is quite usual for there to be a number of communications between you and us back and forth as we respond to your question/ situation as we build trust and understanding between us.
Depending on the number of responses we are dealing with it may take a little while for us to get back to you. But we will get back to you! Everyone's situation is different and our response is personal to you. It is not computer generated! We are listening to you. We are taking you seriously. And we care.
It always helps us to help you if you can give us more information about your situation - the better we understand your situation the better we will be able to respond and help you.
Is instant chat (IM) available?
Not at this time for several good reasons. It would be easy to make this available but there are several considerations around the use and safety of IM that we are very aware of so, for now, IM is not available.
One of the reasons why we don't use IM is that someone in crisis and/ or in a difficult situation does not often communicate important information necessary to understand what's going on. Here at Your Life Counts we want to understand as best we can so that we can help and understand as best we can. We need you to help us to help us to help you.
Remember our understanding of your situation is only as good as the amount of information you choose to share with us. This is why we encourage you to take the time to think and share your situation with us as best you can. We know it takes effort. We know it takes time. But this is all about you and we reassure you that you are worth it.
It is important for you to feel reassured that we are here for you. We're here to listen. To listen some more. And to help as best we can. And we will.
Who responds to me?
A Your Life Counts approved counselor with professional training and extensive life experience that has brought him/her close to the work of YLC. The majority of our counselors are experienced professional workers qualified in front line medical/ mental health care dedicated to whole health and well being for youth and families. We do not have anyone on our response team who has neither qualifications or experience. We additionally require our counsellors to have exceptional listening skills, patience and a lot of compassion to respond on the Online Lifeline. But most importantly, the folk who work with us have all been through stuff in their own lives. It is highly likely that the person who responds to you has been through similar things to you and knows from experience what it feels like to be going through what you are going through. It's only when we experience things ourselves that we can truly understand. That's why we do a lot of listening and why we really do understand more than you may realize!
Your message will be responded to by the most appropriate person available on our team at the time you message us.
Is my communication confidential?
Yes, your communication is between you and YLC and no-one else.
Is my communication anonymous?
It will be if you sign in with an alias identity. Our reassurance to you is our promise of confidentiality and that is a promise so this shouldn't be a big concern.
Is my communication safe?
Yes, your communication with us takes place behind a secure server. We are hosted by one of the most reputable - and one of the largest - hosting companies in the world.
Is there a limit to the number of times I can use the online lifeline?
No - we understand that there are times when we need to be listened to. We are here for as long as you need us. We will always be listening and supportive and will also be encouraging you to connect with help and support in your own community as you feel stronger. We work collaboratively with other agencies and will help to refer you/ introduce you to more local support as you feel able. The important thing is for you to feel stronger and to feel better about yourself and all that you are coping with in your life - and we're here to help you as best we can.
If I change the message thread will you still find me?
I am not in crisis, can I share my situation with you for help and advice?
Sure, we're here to listen and help as best we can. You don't need to be in crisis to contact us! More than 85% of the people who contact us are not in crisis - they are needing help to cope, to understand, to make it through.
Is there any circumstance where you would tell anyone else like the Police for instance?
We realize there is a big difference between struggling with suicidal thoughts and feeling suicidal. Many of us can have suicidal thoughts from time to time for all kinds of reasons. We are here to reassure you and help support you through your time of struggle. In very rare situations and only if we were really concerned for your safety and/ or the safety of others would we need to liaise with our colleagues in emergency services - all agencies have a duty of care to respond in this way if need be. This is the only time otherwise everything, absolutely everything, is between you and us. We are here for you!
Will you ever share/sell my information with others?
No, absolutely not.
Can I message you anytime?
Is there any circumstance where I would be blocked from the YLC system?
This would be a very rare situation. If anyone is verbally abusive, profane or uses threatening language we of course reserve the right to block that person as our resources and energies need to be directed to helping individuals who really want our help.
Can I submit a message on behalf of someone else?
Because of privacy issues it is very difficult for us to respond to third party situations. It would be better if you encouraged the other person to contact us directly.
Is the Online Lifeline available in French and other languages?
We do not have the financial resources for this at this time. Our website has an instant translation function but we understand the limitations of that. Meantime we are working on building our capacity.
I have a question that is not answered here, what do I do?
If you do not find the answer to your question, please submit your question via our contact form.
We are always happy to answer questions and hear suggestions.
Remember your life is very precious! Don't ever give up! Keep going! We're here for YOU!
We always welcome your queries/ suggestions.
Take care - Your friends at YLC