Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is the nation’s largest provider of free, anonymous, and confidential text-based crisis intervention services. It has provided millions of conversations with people in emotional distress, including those who cannot afford therapy from a mental health professional.

Texters receive two automated responses: the first tells them they are being connected with a counselor, and the second invites them to share a bit more. The conversations are confidential and empathetic.

Free and confidential

Whether you’re in a crisis or just need someone to talk to, helplines are a great resource. These nationwide resources offer free and confidential support through text and chat. They can be accessed by searching for them on Find A Helpline or simply texting HOME to 741741.

A Crisis Counselor will reply within minutes, and the conversation begins. They’ll ask you about your situation and empathize with you. They’ll also share resources and work with you to de-escalate the situation. They will only alert emergency services in less than 1% of cases.

You can text about anything you’re struggling with, including depression, anxiety, and relationships. A counselor can even help you deal with traumatic events and experiences. They’ll listen to you without judgment and connect you with local resources. The service is completely free, though standard messaging rates may apply. The conversations are also anonymous. You can use the service on any phone, at any time, day or night.

24/7 service

Whether you’re feeling depressed or just need someone to talk to, Crisis Text Line can help. You can get free, confidential support by texting BRAVE to 741741. Crisis counselors will respond within minutes and work with you to de-escalate the situation and connect you to help locally. They’ll also help you create a safety plan if necessary.

Volunteers are trained to empathize with their texters and to not interrogate them. Instead, they ask questions to help them identify options and weigh pros and cons. Depending on the situation, they might dispatch emergency services.

Many people struggle with mental health issues, but don’t have the resources to seek professional help. Thankfully, these new hotlines offer free, 24/7, text-based mental health support. You can even communicate with them via Facebook Messenger! Unlike traditional crisis lines, these services are available anytime you need them. And volunteers can work from home, which makes it easier to balance their volunteering with other commitments.

Volunteers can work from home

As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, many people are searching for ways to help their communities. While it may be difficult to find a way to volunteer in person, there are several opportunities for virtual work. Many nonprofit organizations have posted positions for remote volunteers. Some of these are as simple as sewing cloth masks for local hospitals and healthcare centers.

Another option is to become a Crisis Text Line volunteer. This organization provides empathetic and compassionate support through texting with trained Crisis Counselors. Those in need can contact the line by texting “HOME” to 741741. The first two texts are automated and let you know that you’re being connected with a counselor and invite you to share more information.

Other remote volunteer opportunities include donating food, water or clothing to those in need. You can also answer calls and chat messages for Kids Help Phone, a 24/7 service for youth in crisis. Or, you can volunteer as a chat responder with The Trevor Project for LGBTQ teens struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Access to training

If you want to help people in crisis, but don’t have the time or money to attend a traditional training class, there are online and in-person training opportunities available. These programs are offered at no cost to volunteers. In addition, they are accessible from any location and allow you to work at your own pace.

Once you’ve completed the training, you can begin working as a volunteer. You’ll need to sign up on the platform and select shifts that are available. Shifts are typically scheduled in 2-hour blocks. However, be careful not to overwork yourself. You might get overwhelmed and not be able to help.

SUNY has been promoting the text line and training initiative as part of its efforts to promote student mental, emotional, and physical wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find more information about these resources on SUNY’s new mental health resource page. NFHS is also continuing to promote the use of “SHIELD” as the keyword for the text line, which can be accessed by individuals in any state by texting SHIELD to 741741. The NFHS and Crisis Text Line have been collaborating since 2021.