Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 emotional support through text messaging with a live counselor. The service is confidential and anonymous.
Many users identified that the texting format made it easier to seek help in situations where it might be difficult or uncomfortable to make a call. They also found it to be more discreet than calling someone on the phone.
What is the Crisis Text Line?
The Crisis Text Line is a free, 24/7 anonymous texting support service. New York State has partnered with the organization to provide a dedicated number that will appear on your phone bill (only AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint) when you text GOT5 or Got5U to 741741.
When you send those texts, you’ll be connected with a trained volunteer counselor who can talk with you about anything you’re going through. Whether it’s thoughts of suicide, housing instability or family challenges, your counselor will listen and help you come up with a safety plan. They’ll also refer you to local resources, and they will only contact emergency services in less than 1% of conversations.
The counselors who work with the organization are volunteers, and they’re trained to use the skills taught through their program. They will not promote religious matters or partisan politics, and they will only engage in active rescues when you are in immediate danger of harming yourself or others.
How can I use the Crisis Text Line?
Crisis Text Line empowers a community of volunteers to support people in their moments of need by combining technology with empathy. Their services are free, anonymous, and available 24/7. They operate at the intersection of innovation and empathy to create a world where nobody feels alone.
To reach a counselor, text “BRAVE” to 741741. You will receive two automated responses that let you know you are being connected with a crisis counselor and they will begin a back-and-forth conversation over text. They will ask questions but you are not required to share any information you do not want to.
A trained crisis counselor will help you deescalate your situation and connect you to resources. They will also help you develop a plan for safety and recovery. The average conversation lasts between 45 and 60 minutes. Kids Help Phone is a Canadian organization that offers help to young people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, relationships, bullying, or other issues. They provide help over the phone, through a chat service, or by text message.
What if I don’t have a cell phone?
If you find yourself constantly distracted by your phone, it may be time to consider ditching it. Before you do, be sure to inform your friends and family, so they know how to reach you in an emergency. Also, if your phone contains any payment information, make sure you alert your bank and cancel any cards that are linked to your phone. Once you do without your phone, spend more time with your friends and family and focus on self-improvement by exercising, reading, or pursuing other hobbies. You may be surprised by how little you miss your cell phone once it’s gone.
What if I’m not ready to talk to a counselor?
The Crisis Text Line believes that everyone has a crisis moment. That’s why they don’t judge anyone based on their crisis. Rather than judging someone, their goal is to help them problem-solve and find ways to get to a calm place.
In a conversation, a counselor will introduce themselves, reflect on what you’ve said, and then invite you to share at your own pace. You will typically message back and forth with them, but you never have to share anything that you don’t feel comfortable sharing.
The New York State Suicide Prevention Center has partnered with Crisis Text Line to provide free, 24/7 anonymous text-based support to people in need. To connect with a trained counselor, simply text BRAVE to 741741. The service is available in all 50 states, though the number may vary depending on your phone plan and carrier. You can also connect with the Crisis Line through Facebook Messenger by clicking the “Chat with Us” button on their page.