Crisis Text Line – Reach Out For Help

Taking the first step to reach out for help is often the hardest and bravest thing you can do. Crisis Text Line volunteers are ready to listen and connect you to resources.

The service is free to use, though standard messaging rates apply. All texts are anonymous and confidential.

What is Crisis Text Line?

The recent spate of high-profile suicides has prompted social media to be flooded with text lines that people can use in times of crisis. But many of these services have been criticised for putting the onus of crisis support onto individuals rather than on health systems or first responders.

The free and confidential service is available worldwide via text message or phone call. Those in need of help can text BRAVE or HOME to 741741. If you live in the UK, you can reach out to Shout instead by texting HELP to 741741.

When someone reaches out, a trained counselor will reply with empathy and invite them to share more at their own pace. A Counselor will never push for a particular response and will only ask questions if they believe the texter may be in immediate danger. In these cases, the counselor will alert their local public safety access point to engage law enforcement and/or first responders.

How can I use Crisis Text Line?

Text a crisis counselor for free, 24/7 support. Crisis counselors are trained to listen and help you feel supported. You can talk about anything — from suicidal thoughts to job stress to a breakup. You can even ask the counselor to call emergency services on your behalf.

A crisis counselor can also connect you with local resources to get the support you need. This may look like a referral to a mental health professional or a resource for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and more.

A texter can contact a counselor from anywhere in the US by texting HOME to 741741. If you are in a life-threatening situation, you should call 911 instead. Crisis Text Line is not a doctor or therapist and cannot provide medical advice. However, the service can help you find resources in your area to address any mental health issues you are experiencing. The service is free, but standard messaging rates apply.

How do I get help from Crisis Text Line?

Many people who are in crisis feel isolated and alone. Busy schedules, finances and the demands of raising a family can be overwhelming. You can connect with a trained expert through Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps to receive support and guidance.

When you text HOME to 741741, you will be connected with a Crisis Counselor. You will receive two automated responses—the first tells you that you’re being connected, and the second invites you to share more about your situation with your Counselor.

The counselors are specially trained to listen empathetically without judgment and will work with you to de-escalate your situation and identify resources in your area. They will alert emergency services only when they believe that you are in a life-threatening situation, or when they cannot help you create a plan to safely separate yourself from a means of self-harm. They will also link you to a trusted peer support resource, such as Shout.

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

A crisis text line is a great option for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health in person, or if they can’t afford to see a therapist. However, it’s important to remember that text counseling is not a replacement for professional help.

In addition to being available 24 hours a day, these services are free for anyone to use. They also provide options for people with unique needs, such as The Trevor Project, which offers text counselors for LGBTQ+ youth.

When someone texts a crisis line, they’ll receive two automated responses that tell them they’re being connected with a Counselor and invite them to share more. But they don’t have to answer any questions that aren’t comfortable for them, and they can end the conversation anytime. The service can also connect them to a local resource if necessary. Then there’s the empathetic and active listening that a Crisis Counselor provides. Research shows that this type of support is just as effective as other forms of intervention, like verbal communication.