Using the Crisis Text Line can help those who are experiencing a mental health crisis. It is a free service provided by a not-for-profit organization, which provides confidential intervention via SMS message. It is available 24 hours a day in the United States, Canada and Ireland.
Suicidal texters had less positive outcomes compared to non-suicidal texters
Despite the increasing prevalence of text-message hotlines, minimal peer-reviewed research has focused on their effectiveness. This study evaluated the outcomes of Crisis Text Line (CTL) conversations and the perceived efficacy of the service. It included a review of 153,514 conversations with 122,909 users.
The majority of texters reported a positive outcome after CTL conversation. Two thirds of people who reached out through online chat during a suicidal crisis said their correspondence was helpful. These results are similar to those found after using Lifeline crisis chat. However, CTL offers the opportunity to engage in additional interventions.
Although the data suggests that a majority of texters feel more positive after CTL conversations, a small minority experienced more depressive feelings and were less hopeful. This suggests that CTL’s services may not be effective for all users. Moreover, suicide risk is a key determinant of outcomes.
In order to identify the specific groups of users who are most likely to be in need of assistance, a latent class analysis was performed. This was used to identify four distinct groups. The groups were categorized based on gender, race, and age. All of these covariates were included in the logistic regression models.
The odds of being more depressed, overwhelmed, and suicidal after a text-based conversation were higher in those who scored higher on depression scores. Similarly, the odds of providing positive feedback after a CC conversation were lower in those who had a high suicide risk.
An algorithm is used to assess the severity of a crisis
Using a well-publicized dataset of hospitalizations, diagnoses, and risk assessments, I came up with a machine learning algorithm to make predictions about patients likely to experience a crisis. Having tested models with varying time horizons, I found that this approach did the trick. This is not to say that this system is flawless – I still have to test one of the models, and am currently on the fence about a second – but overall I am impressed with the quality of the data. Moreover, this method of data gathering allowed me to build an impressive database of well over a thousand patients, many of which were first-timers. Moreover, this model is able to produce predictions about patients who are likely to experience a crisis in the coming days or weeks. This has allowed me to focus on those who are likely to need my services. Hopefully, this will result in fewer snafus and more happy customers. I would like to thank all the clinicians who participated in this pilot program. They were a pleasure to work with and I can’t wait for my next one. This is a great way to get a pulse on patient care practices across the country. I am also a big fan of having a single database to mine all the information about patients with whom I interact.
Providing free mental health services through a mobile application, Crisis Text Line has grown to become the second largest volunteer-based, distributed network in the world. Over 35 million text messages have been exchanged over the past four years. The organization aims to expand its technology infrastructure and referral resources to reach an additional 12.5 million people in the US and around the world.
The company uses mobile technology and big data to provide counseling services in five languages and to share insights with law enforcement, the mental health community, and other organizations. They have also developed a robust recruitment system that has recruited over 25,000 volunteers to date.
Crisis Text Line has helped over 3.5 million people in emotional distress. Aside from providing free mental health support through text messages, the service also offers a unique opportunity to voice difficult feelings.
A Crisis Text Line counselor can work from anywhere in the world, in pajamas if necessary. The organization is looking to recruit more Crisis Counselors to expand its capacity. To apply to become a Crisis Counselor, visit the organization’s website. Then, they will contact you for further instructions.
The organization is also planning to offer its innovative mental health support service in multiple languages. In addition, it is working to improve the field of crisis intervention. The company is sharing insights with researchers, the mental health community, and other organizations to develop more effective ways of addressing the need for mental health care.