Crisis Text Line provides free, anonymous, 24/7 support for people in distress. Text 741741 from anywhere in the US to start a conversation with a trained Crisis Counselor.
Users have reported that texting is more discreet than a phone call, allowing them to access support in places and situations where it might be difficult or unsafe to speak out loud.
What is the Crisis Text Line?
The Crisis Text Line is a free, 24/7 service that connects people with trained crisis counselors via text message. People can use the service for any issue, including suicidal thoughts, homelessness, job stress, bullying, or a breakup. In the first eight years of operation, volunteers have had more than 1.4 million conversations with texters in crisis across the country.
When you text BRAVE to the number 741741, you’re instantly connected to a crisis counselor who will listen, de-escalate your situation, and help you find help locally. You’ll never be asked for your name or any other identifying information.
If you’re not able to text, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or contact them through Facebook Messenger. However, the benefit of communicating with a Crisis Counselor through text is that you can have a conversation about whatever you’re going through without anyone else knowing your identity. This is because the messages are encrypted and anonymous.
How do I use the Crisis Text Line?
Managing daily life responsibilities, maintaining a job, and caring for family and friends can feel overwhelming at times. A text conversation with a Crisis Counselor can help you sort out your feelings and make sure you’re safe.
If you’re thinking about hurting yourself or someone else, a counselor can work with you to create a safety plan. They can also help you find resources locally.
There are a number of different crisis lines available, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Kids Help Phone. You can also use Facebook messenger to communicate with these services (although standard messaging rates may apply). Regardless of your location, the people on the other end are trained and caring. They won’t judge you, and they’ll never know your name or other identifying information. They’re there to listen and empathize. You can tell them anything — whether it’s feeling depressed, overwhelmed by work stress, or having trouble with a relationship.
What happens when I text the Crisis Text Line?
During a conversation with the Crisis Text Line, the counselor will work to de-escalate the situation and connect the texter to resources in their area. “They’re going to help them understand what they are dealing with and how to navigate those tough moments,” Womble says.
When a texter calls the line, they will be connected to a trained counselor who will help them through their rough patch in an entirely confidential way. The service is free, and the texter’s phone carrier will not show the number on their bill.
The counselor will start by introducing themselves and sending the texter a confidentiality disclosure. They will then begin to build rapport, ask questions and explore the issue that led the person to reach out to the service. They will also assess for risk of abuse, homicidal or suicidal thoughts or nonsuicidal self-injury, but only after they have built trust and rapport. The counselors will then create a safety plan with the texter and send them links to local resources if necessary.
How can I get help from the Crisis Text Line?
Having a busy schedule, managing your finances, and caring for your family or pets can all be stressful. Sometimes, you may need someone to talk to who will listen without judgment. Fortunately, the Crisis Text Line is available 24/7. Simply text “Got5” or “GOT5U” to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor.
In 2021, volunteer Crisis Counselors had 1.3 million conversations with people experiencing a mental health crisis. They heard about everything from depression to eating disorders to bullying, to suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Crisis Text Line is completely anonymous and free to use. Though the service does not engage in active rescue, they work with the texter to de-escalate and identify resources for local help. In addition to helping people in distress, the Crisis Text Line also helps individuals help their friends and loved ones. They are at the intersection of empathy and innovation, and their vision is to create an empathetic world where nobody feels alone.