Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is a free and confidential text-based mental health support service. It launched in 2013 and is the largest text-based crisis intervention service in the country.

To reach a Crisis Counselor, text HOME to 741741. You will begin a back and forth texting conversation with the CC who will help you through whatever you’re facing.

What is the Crisis Text Line?

Crisis Text Line is a free, confidential service that offers 24/7 text-based mental health support and crisis intervention. It can be accessed by anyone in the United States by texting HOME to 741741. Those in crisis can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

The nonprofit, tech-forward not-for-profit launched in 2013 and is staffed by trained volunteer Crisis Counselors. Its mission is to serve people in distress from all walks of life, including youth and marginalized communities.

Research was conducted using anonymized and de-identified CC reports and voluntary texter surveys from 153,514 Crisis Text Line conversations that mentioned current or previous suicidality between 2013 and 2017. In less than 1% of these conversations did the Crisis Counselor engage in an active rescue with law enforcement or first responders.

How do I use the Crisis Text Line?

Whether you are in crisis yourself or want to support someone else, Crisis Text Line provides free, anonymous, 24/7 help via text. Just text “Got5” to 741741 and you’ll get two automated responses that tell you you’re being connected with a trained Crisis Counselor who is ready to listen.

A back-and-forth texting conversation ensues, and the counselor works with you to de-escalate the situation and find local resources. Depending on the severity of the crisis, counselors may also contact emergency services if needed.

Crisis Text Line counselors are trained to empathize with the person in crisis. They don’t interrogate the texter and often just ask questions that help the person sort through their options and weigh pros and cons. They also encourage the person to seek ongoing mental health care. To help address the unmet mental health needs of young people of color, the Steve Fund has partnered with Crisis Text Line to create a special keyword for them: text STEVE to 741741 to connect with a live, trained Crisis Counselor.

What if I don’t want to talk to a Crisis Counselor?

When you call or text a helpline, a trained crisis counselor is connected with you to talk. They will ask questions to understand what’s going on and how best to support you. The conversation can last for as long as you need.

Then, they’ll connect you with resources for more help in your area. That may mean a hotline, a therapist, or a group of peers. They’ll also provide information about suicide prevention and how to get help for other mental health issues.

Some helplines specialize in different populations. For example, the Veterans Crisis Line connects with veterans 24/7 through a hotline and a text line. Another resource is the Teen Line, which connects young people with a peer volunteer crisis counselor through a hotline and a texting service. There are also warm lines geared towards different groups, such as those for women and teens of color. You can find a list of local resources by state here.

What if I’m not in a crisis?

Many people live with mental health conditions and often experience crisis moments. It’s not always a life-threatening situation but can be anything from feeling overwhelmed by school, work, family or housing to developing a plan to hurt yourself or others.

If you feel a crisis moment coming on, text BRAVE to 741741, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. They are available 24/7 and the conversations you have on both services are free, confidential and anonymous.

While some critics have criticized the fact that both the Crisis Text Line and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ask questions like “are you thinking about suicide?” it’s important to remember that they only ask these kinds of questions to make sure they can help you. They will not judge you or tell you what to do, and they will only want to help you. You can also connect on Facebook Messenger with both of these services, and your conversations are encrypted and anonymous.