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What it’s like to work at a suicide hotline

“You sound afraid,” she says in a soft, deliberately relaxed voice. “Can you stay where you are?”


Aja Romano


Tonight, ABC 2 in Australia is airing a documentary, Suicide and Me, that opens with a young woman telling a suicide hotline caller not to go near the rope in her living room.

“You sound afraid,” she says in a soft, deliberately relaxed voice. “It’s in the living room now, so can you stay where you are, in your bedroom?”

The woman—who successfully talked the caller through her suicidal panic—is “Rebecca,” a Lifeline telephone crisis supporter. When the documentary makers uploaded its opening scene to YouTube, it attracted attention from Reddit. Tuppytupps commented to thank them for their support.

Hi everyone! I’m the girl in that video. My facebook just exploded with people telling me I was on reddit, so I signed up! Thank you all for the wonderfully kind comments. Jiao and the team did a fantastic job making this movie and I hope you can all watch it tonight. The 3 people in the film who were brave enough to share such personal stories are the real ones that deserve the praise though. You don’t know that yet, because you’ve only seen a clip with me, but when you watch the whole film, you’ll see!

Although the documentary focuses on three survivors of attempted suicides who successfully pull through their struggles, redditors were quick to shower praise on Rebecca for her efforts, giving her single comment triple Reddit Gold and over 2800 upvotes.

In recent years, Australia has expanded its efforts at suicide awareness, launching a national day of prevention called “RU OK?”

The documentary aired earlier today on Australia’s ABC2.

Screengrab via YouTube

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