Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is a free, confidential mental health support and crisis intervention service available 24/7 through text message. The organization offers support in the United States, Canada, and the UK. Individuals can access the service by texting HOME to 741741.

Being a Crisis Counselor is the most rewarding experience I’ve had as a volunteer. It has shaped my own life, my relationships with others and my personal growth.

What is the Crisis Text Line?

Crisis Text Line is the nation’s largest provider of crisis text-based services. It empowers a community of trained volunteer Crisis Counselors to support people in crisis via text message, with the goal of de-escalating and linking them to resources.

The service is free and anonymous for anyone in the United States, with support available 24 hours a day by texting HOME to 741741. It can also be accessed through an app or by calling 1-888-273-8255.

This study analyzed 153,514 Crisis Text Line conversations (2013–2017) in which the texters mentioned current or previous suicidality. We used latent class analysis to determine distinct classes of texters and then compared their responses with one another. We found that the majority of our conversation-based interventions reduced suicide risk in nearly half of suicidal texters, comparable to improvements in life-threatening crises seen after psychotherapy. The findings were robust across multiple subgroups, including gender, race, and the presence of other sources of help.

How do I use the Crisis Text Line?

Crisis Text Line is a 24/7 service that connects people in need of help to trained counselors via text message. People who need help can start a conversation by texting HOME to 741741. Then, they will be connected to a trained crisis counselor who will listen and support them through back-and-forth text conversations. They can talk about anything that is causing them stress or anxiety, including depression, relationship problems, bullying and more.

They can also ask about resources in their area, which helps them take a step toward recovery. The counselors will help them de-escalate and create a safety plan to prevent harming themselves or others. They will only engage in “active rescue” (contact emergency services) in less than 1% of cases.

The service is completely anonymous and free to use. It is available anywhere in the United States, even in places where a call for help might be awkward, like a classroom during lunch or in a hospital waiting room.

What if I don’t want to use the Crisis Text Line?

Whether you’re worried about your mental health or just want to talk to someone, Crisis Text Line is available 24/7 to anyone in the United States. It’s completely free, anonymous and confidential. You can text HOME to 741741, and you will be paired with a trained crisis counselor.

You can text about absolutely anything – whether it’s suicidal thoughts, job stress, or a relationship breakup. It’s a safe space to vent, cry, laugh or even just ask for a hug. You can also ask the Specialist to contact emergency services on your behalf if necessary.

All members of the Community agree to abide by Crisis Text Line’s training, policies and procedures, including a 200-hour volunteer commitment. Sharing screenshots, photos or any other content from the Platform with others outside of the Community is strictly prohibited. Volunteers should also only access the Platform on a secure computer and in a private space.

What if I don’t want to talk to a counselor?

Regardless of what’s going on, you can text Crisis Services to get help. Whether you’re dealing with feelings of sadness, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, a counselor is there to listen.

A volunteer crisis counselor will respond and begin a back-and-forth texting conversation with you. They will ask questions, empathize and actively listen to you, but they don’t force you to share anything if you don’t want to. The goal of the conversation is to get you to a calm and safe place.

Many different crisis lines exist, including hotlines that focus on specific groups, such as young people of color or survivors of natural disasters. Some are state-specific, while others operate on a national level and offer a variety of ways to connect with trained crisis counselors. You can also call or visit a local mental health clinic for crisis support. Some warmlines are specifically for individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts or in a life-threatening emergency.