In a time when many people feel isolated, busy with work and family life or struggling with their own mental health issues, Crisis Text Line is there for them. The service provides free and anonymous support via text messaging with trained Crisis Counselors.
All you have to do is text GOT5 or Got5U to 741741 to get connected with a trained volunteer. They will listen empathetically and can connect you to local resources if needed.
The Crisis Text Line service, part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network, connects individuals with a trained specialist through text messaging. Individuals in the United States can access the service by texting “HOME” to 741741. Disaster survivors can also use this resource for emotional support during and after a disaster.
The first two responses to a text are automated, but the Crisis Counselor who will follow up with you is a volunteer. The counselor will work with you to discuss your issues, de-escalate your situation, and help you find local resources that can help. They will alert emergency services in less than 1% of cases, and work to empower you by helping you problem-solve and identify the best options for your safety.
The counselors know that you are brave for reaching out, and they will not judge you. They will respect your privacy and are always confidential. They will not engage in any type of relationship with you that would create a doctor-patient, therapist-client or attorney-client relationship.
Text STEVE to 741741
When it feels like no one is listening, you can get help by texting STEVE to 741741. Crisis Text Line is a free mental health service that provides 24/7 support via text message. It serves people who are experiencing any kind of crisis, from suicidal thoughts to feeling alone. Crisis counselors can offer support, de-escalate the situation and connect you to help.
You can also get help through other text lines, such as National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Trevor Project, which is specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth. All services are free and confidential.
The Steve Fund and Crisis Text Line have joined forces to bring complementary resources and expertise to the student mental health sector. The Steve Fund provides research on young people of color and strategic partnerships with colleges and universities to increase the number of students reached, while Crisis Text Line supplies free, 24/7 crisis support. Together, they can make a big impact on the mental health of students of color across America.
Texting with a Crisis Counselor
Stressful events can occur in anyone’s life. Sometimes the demands of a busy schedule, maintaining a job and taking care of kids or a family can feel overwhelming. The good news is, you don’t have to suffer alone – the NY State Department of Health and Crisis Text Line have partnered to help you access free, 24/7 support by text.
To start a conversation, text GOT5 to 741741 (or GotU for college students) and get connected with a trained volunteer. The first two responses are automated, but after that it’s a back and forth texting conversation with a counselor who will empathize with you until you reach a calm place. The average conversation lasts 45 minutes.
Crisis counselors are taught to not pry, but rather to listen and empathize. They will also share resources for help locally, and they’ll let you know when to seek emergency services if necessary. They will work to de-escalate a situation and create a safety plan.
Texting with a Mental Health Professional
Many of these services are free and available 24/7. To use the service, you simply text the number of the counselor you want to speak with and they will respond back within minutes. You can then continue to communicate with them via texts or set up a video or phone call appointment if you’d prefer.
Many people are not comfortable talking to a mental health professional over the phone or in person, but may feel more at ease discussing their feelings and thoughts with a therapist over text. Therapy over text is also an option for those who are unable to afford traditional counseling or are struggling with transportation or childcare needs.
When choosing a text therapy service, make sure that it is HIPAA compliant and that your privacy will be protected. It’s also important to look for therapists who are experienced in treating the conditions you are experiencing. You may also want to find out if the service offers a flexible scheduling model and allows you to choose a therapist who fits your schedule.