Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is the first and only national, 24/7 crisis-intervention hotline that conducts conversations exclusively via text. Their mission is to make the world a more empathetic place, one conversation at a time.

The service is free and anonymous. If you need help, just text STEVE to 741741. A trained Crisis Counselor will respond.

It’s free

Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 mental health support by texting to 741741. Users can use this service regardless of their location or device. However, standard messaging charges may apply.

According to Crisis Text Line, the first two text messages are automated and tell the user that they’re being connected with a trained counselor. After that, the texter and counselor can have a back-and-forth conversation. The counselor can help the texter problem-solve and find local resources. Crisis Text Line also provides education about suicide prevention.

Crisis Text Line uses Loris, a conversational AI platform that helps them scale without sacrificing the quality of conversations. This technology enables their team to be more productive and empathetic while keeping conversations safe and secure. Loris bills itself as “conversational AI for customer-first teams.” Meal delivery company Freshly has even used the software to make its support team more productive and empathetic. However, many critics believe that Loris violates the privacy of people using the service.

It’s anonymous

Busy schedules, work, money issues and family responsibilities can often leave people feeling overwhelmed. Using a simple text, anyone can get connected with one of Crisis Text Line’s trained Crisis Counselors to talk through their concerns. The service is free and confidential.

In addition to providing a safe space, volunteers use their experiences as learning opportunities. For example, when a texter mentions immigration, counselors can help with information about local resources. This is a unique way to address the growing issue of mental health problems in this country.

While the service is not a replacement for counseling, it provides vital support to many Americans. Its rapid growth shows that there is a need for more access to mental health services. The organization’s 1,500 counselors complete 35 hours of training, undergo a background check and receive ongoing support from their managers. The program also collects and analyzes data on the conversations that its volunteers have with people in crisis.

It’s confidential

Crisis Text Line operates at the intersection of technology and empathy, with the goal of building a more empathetic world. Its volunteer Crisis Counselors are trained to de-escalate and support people in crisis, while also connecting them to local resources and empowering them to take control of their own lives.

When the conversation ends, the counselor will work with the texter to create a safety plan and connect them with help locally. The counselor will not call emergency services unless the texter is at immediate risk of harm or seems unwilling to separate themselves from their means of self-harm.

However, this policy has not been without controversy. Multiple privacy experts have raised concerns over the sharing of personal data. Some have even noted that it is difficult to scrub data to the point where it is completely unrecognizable. Many are also concerned that the company is using its dominant market position to profit from the service.

It’s available 24/7

Text HEAL to 741741, and you’ll be connected with a trained counselor. The counselor will ask you questions to understand your situation, and then they’ll help you problem-solve and find ways to get to a better place. They won’t judge you for your thoughts, feelings, or actions, but they will always listen and encourage you to share at your own pace.

You can also use the service to help a friend in need. If you know someone who’s struggling, you can text HEAL to 741741, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can even chat online with a counselor at the Lifeline’s website.

The best part about these crisis lines is that they’re available 24/7 and can be accessed by anyone, anywhere. You can also volunteer for them, which is a great way to make an impact and feel good about yourself. You can do this from home, which is convenient and helps you avoid transportation costs.