What is considered a crisis?
A crisis is considered when you feel you may be a harm to yourself or others.
If you are thinking about or planning to harm yourself you may be in crisis.
7 Cups is not equipped to support crisis situations.
We are so thankful you’ve found 7 Cups and the free volunteer Listener program. Our goal is to help support people by offering an open ear and heart for non-emergency situations. In contrast, crisis counselors receive 200+ hours of training and continuing education specific to crisis situations. There are several existing crisis organizations who offer this level of training and support, which is why we choose to stay focused on non-crisis topics and training.
If you are in crisis please reach out to a crisis line for appropriate support. This is not a comprehensive list but some community sourced crisis lines and resources to help you:
- (U.S.) The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line
- (U.S.) Text HOME to 741741
- (Canada) Text HOME to 686868
- International Association for Suicide Prevention
Wikipedia has an excellent list of international suicide crisis lines, which can be found here.
Per our Community Guidelines we will refer any crisis talk to this page, even if it is what is considered passive thoughts. Read more about passive suicidal thoughts below.
This policy encompasses our entire site, including but not limited to 1:1 chats with Listeners, chat rooms, and forums.
Non-Crisis Suicidal Thoughts
Are you not currently a harm to yourself but find yourself thinking about your death or what is considered passive suicidal ideation?
Listeners are volunteers who use active listening to help you work through concerns or problems, but it is important to remember they are not in any way a substitute for therapy. Sometimes a topic such as passive suicidal thoughts (also known as suicidal ideation) is more appropriate for someone with advanced education and training. If you mention passive suicide ideation, our listeners will refer you to this page to review our protocols and ensure that you get the best and most appropriate support for you.
What is suicidal ideation?
Suicidal ideation is the term for when a person thinks about suicide or of ways to end their life even if they are not actively planning to go through with it. They are likely not suicidal but may be having recurring thoughts about it which can vary in frequency from person to person.
What should someone do who is struggling with suicidal ideation?
We realize that this can be a challenge for someone who is experiencing suicidal ideation as well as for the listener. Members may find they have no one to talk to about it because programs like 7 Cups cannot help as volunteer Listeners are not trained to handle it, and Crisis Lines do not consider it a current crisis.
Please understand that at 7 Cups we want the best for everyone, but need to set clear limits on what is and is not appropriate for a volunteer Listener to handle. We cannot handle talk about suicidal ideation. To ensure everyone is getting the support they need, we will always refer ANY suicidal talk to this page. Please be thoughtful of the language you use.
If you are experiencing suicidal ideation and want help you should talk to a licensed therapist.
What if I say something sarcastically and don’t really mean it?
We will refer any talk, sarcastic or not, to ensure we are giving everyone the utmost support. Please be thoughtful about the language you use to describe your situation and refrain from making unserious or sarcastic comments about crisis topics. It is not always possible for listeners to know when you are joking or being sarcastic and any references to suicidal ideation will be referred.
We can offer some resources to help you manage through these thoughts:
- What is suicidal ideation and what can you do about it?
- Coping statements to deal with suicidal thoughts
- General overview of suicidal ideation
- Personal quotes on having suicidal thoughts but not being suicidal
A common related issue is intrusive thoughts. Sometimes intrusive thoughts are about suicide.
- How intrusive thoughts and suicidal ideation can be related to OCD
- How to help understand when your suicidal thoughts are dangerous
Now that you know a little bit about intrusive thoughts and suicidal ideation, we hope you are able to find appropriate support. We appreciate you understanding that 7 Cups is here to offer support for a multitude of topics, but we cannot help with suicidal thoughts or references.
I want to offer crisis support
This is a noble path and we support your dedication to helping those in crisis. Please look into local crisis organizations who offer training and support platform. You will not be able to utilize your crisis training and skills on the 7 Cups platform, as we are not a crisis support organization.
How do I know if I should refer someone to this page or not
Any talk of suicide, suicidal thoughts, or crisis should be referred to this page.
- In a 1:1 chat please kindly end the chat after you’ve sent the referral
- In a group chat room please use the crisis referral tool
- In a forum please flag the post
When should I refer my member to a 7 Cups therapist? (adults only)
Read a guide from our therapy team here.
To refer to therapy click the button in the chat