I am campaigning for the creation of a 24/7 live web chat open to everyone in the UK, staffed by people trained in crisis (including suicide) intervention.
When I was depressed, I looked for a live web chat in which I could talk to someone about suicidal thoughts. I'd used phone helplines, but I reached a point where I felt unable to say aloud how I was feeling. There are numerous other advantages to live web chats - some people won't talk while they're depressed, or find phone calls difficult. However, I could not find one live web chat in the UK open to me.
There are some 24/7 live web chat services that provide emotional support. These include sites like 7 Cups of Tea. However, many of these sites state that their services are not suitable for someone in crisis. In fact, some sites ask you to declare that you are not in crisis or suicidal before they will connect you with someone to talk to.
I found a directory called 'Unsuicide', listing live web chat services in the UK that offer crisis intervention. Unsuicide lists the following sites in their directory:
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) (men)
Edinburgh Nightline (Edinburgh students)
Leeds Nightline (Leeds, UK)
Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service (Leeds, UK)
The Mix (youth <25)
Strathclyde and Caledonian Nightline Online Listening
Each of the live web chat services listed in the directory is only open to certain groups of people (e.g. students, children, men, veterans, LGBTQ people). I understand why these specialised services exist - they are needed. However, there is not a UK live web chat open to anybody, regardless of their profession, gender, sexuality, age or location within the UK. If you're a woman over 25 and you're not a student or LGBTQ, there's nothing for you.
Furthermore, of the live web chat services listed, not all of them are open 24/7. Some close after a certain time (e.g. 11pm). Therefore, even if you live in the UK and are eligible to use a service, it may not be open at the time in which you need it. People's moments of crisis aren't restricted to business hours, and support for them shouldn't be.
There are live web chats (such as IMAlive) staffed by people trained in crisis intervention open to users from all countries, including the UK. However, these websites tend to have very long waiting times, because of their global outreach. I tried on several occasions to connect with IMAlive and was unable to reach anyone.
I therefore see the very real need for the creation of a 24/7 live web chat for those living in the UK, staffed by people trained in crisis intervention.