Crisis Text Line Volunteers Help Teens in Crisis

Crisis Text Line is the first national, 24/7 crisis-intervention hotline that conducts conversations (mostly with teens) exclusively through text messages.

The nonprofit organization empowers a volunteer community to support people in distress. It prioritizes those most at risk of harm by triaging incoming texts even before they are answered.

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Text HOME to 741741, 24/7, to get connected with a trained Crisis Counselor. You’ll receive two automated responses that let you know you’re being linked with a counselor.

It’s okay to text about any issue, whether it be suicidal thoughts or just job stress. A counselor will listen and help you move from your “hot moment” to a cool one by asking questions, empathizing, and actively listening.

The conversations can last as long as you want them to, and the Crisis Counselor will never force you to share anything that makes you uncomfortable. Unless the texter says they’re in danger, the counselor will also not contact emergency services.

For veterans, the service offers a separate line for crisis counseling around PTSD and other issues. And it’s available to anyone, including those who are not registered with the VA or enrolled in its health care. It’s free, multilingual and confidential. The Veterans Crisis Line is also available on Facebook, where you can chat with a counselor in real time.

Text STEVE to 741741

Four times a week for an hour at a time, Qvistgaard logs on from her Davis, California, home and takes text messages from people in crisis. They range in topic from school and workplace anxiety to suicidal thoughts and reports of rape or sexual assault.

The service is free and anonymous, and its counselors are trained to be compassionate listeners. They de-escalate the situation and help the texter find resources in their community. Tailored resources are available for English and Spanish speakers, youth, veterans, LGBTQIA+, loss survivors and more.

CUNY has partnered with Crisis Text Line to offer a new keyword – STEVE — that young people of color can use to connect with a counselor at any time. This unique resource addresses the under-served mental health needs of college students of color, who often do not have access to in-person support services. Getting connected is easy, simply text “STEVE” to 741741 from anywhere in the US to start a conversation with a trained crisis counselor.

Text HOME to 741741

Busy schedules, a job, finances and maintaining a home can be challenging responsibilities for adults. If you feel overwhelmed, text HOME to 741741 and receive free, anonymous support from a trained Crisis Counselor who will listen and respond to your concerns using a medium most people have on their phones—texting.

A counselor will help you move from a “hot moment” to a “cool calm” by offering support, listening and helping you stay safe, using effective active listening, collaborative problem solving and suggested referrals. All from a text conversation on a platform that’s secure and easy to use.

And don’t let the word crisis scare you away from seeking help – a crisis to you is a crisis to them, no matter what it is. Whether you’re having trouble coping with a breakup or just need someone to talk to. You can reach out to a counselor any time, day or night, just text HOME. It’s the easiest, least awkward thing you can do.


The service offers 24/7 support, and volunteers are able to work shifts at times that fit their schedule. This makes it easy to balance volunteer work with a busy life and career.

Volunteers receive training before they begin working with texters in crisis. They are trained to de-escalate and help texters create safety plans. They also learn to listen compassionately and without judgment, and to connect people with local resources for help.

To become a Crisis Text Line volunteer, visit their website and click the “volunteer” button. You will be asked to provide your name, email address, phone number, and birthday. You will also need to consent to a background check. This helps to ensure that volunteers do not have any records that would prevent them from volunteering for the organization. You will be notified of any additional requirements, such as references or training materials, before you are able to begin your volunteer work. Your information may be processed in or transferred to the United States.