Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 texting support with a trained crisis counselor. They de-escalate the situation and work to connect people to help locally. They engage emergency services in less than 1% of cases.

When Loris launched in 2018, Lublin told Mashable that the company hoped to use its insights and anonymized data to create software for optimizing customer service. But that quickly changed.

What is the Crisis Text Line?

The Crisis Text Line is a free, 24/7 service that provides empathetic, confidential support through text. You can reach a trained Crisis Counselor by texting ‘REACH’ to 741-741 from anywhere in the US.

Volunteer Crisis Counselors receive extensive training and are supervised by trained mental health professionals. Their job is to de-escalate the situation, help the texter find local resources, and, in rare instances, work with the user to create a safety plan that includes alerting emergency services. This is called an “active rescue” and occurs in less than 1% of conversations.

You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline through Facebook Messenger, which offers an encrypted and anonymous way to communicate with a counselor. This service is free, though standard messaging rates may apply based on your cell phone provider and plan. You can talk about anything you want, but the most common reasons people text a crisis line are depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bullying, and thoughts of suicide.

How do I use the Crisis Text Line?

After texting BRAVE to 741741, you’ll be connected with a Crisis Counselor within five minutes. The counselor will introduce themselves, and invite you to talk about whatever’s on your mind — at your own pace. They’ll help de-escalate your situation and connect you with local resources. The conversation is free (though standard messaging rates may apply).

Whether you’re having suicidal thoughts, are feeling overwhelmed at work, or need help after a breakup, there is someone available to listen. And a crisis to you might be something completely different than a crisis to another person.

To get involved, you can volunteer with the service, or spread the word. You can also find posters and flyers in your school, college or workplace. And you can share posts on social media to let people know the service is there for them. The service is free, anonymous and 24/7. Its mission is to meet young Americans “where they are” — mental health support in a format they can use.

What is the Crisis Text Line for?

Crisis Text Line counselors can help with all kinds of crises, such as homelessness, bullying, depression, and eating disorders. They can also help people struggling with addictions and relapse urges. The service has been around since August 2013, and counselors have exchanged over 105 million text messages with people in distress.

Counselors use a variety of methods to de-escalate and move the person from a high state of emotion to a cool calm. They can also talk to people about their safety plans and identify resources available in their area. Emergency services are contacted in less than 1% of cases.

While the organization says it only shares anonymous data, studies have shown how easy it is to re-identify someone from databases that are supposedly “anonymous.” According to the New York Times, the company uses information collected through its conversations with texters to improve services and recruit more counselors. The policy is detailed in its Terms of Service & Privacy Policy, which all texters agree to in order to be paired with a counselor.

Who can use the Crisis Text Line?

People text the service about a wide range of issues, from depression to relationship problems to job stress. A crisis counselor can help individuals sort through these feelings and identify options for seeking help in the community.

A conversation with a crisis counselor lasts about 45 minutes and is completely confidential. Depending on how the individual responds, they might be asked to stay in contact with their counselor or to move on to another individual in need.

The nation’s largest crisis text line recruits, trains, and remotely monitors a workforce of volunteer Crisis Counselors (CC). They receive 30 hours of training in reflective listening, risk assessment, and collaborative problem solving. The CTL team also includes full-time salaried staff with degrees in counseling, social work, and human services who supervise the CCs.

Across the data, a large proportion of texters are experiencing high levels of distress, and 80% of the conversations included thoughts of suicide. The CTL strives to empower the texter and help them to suss out their own solutions, and emergency services are only dispatched in less than 1% of crises.