How to Reach Out to Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line

Crisis text lines are designed to be a safe and accessible option for people in distress. These free and confidential national resources are supported by a community of volunteers who help individuals work through their issues and access local support services.

But a Politico investigation revealed that Crisis Text Line’s for-profit subsidiary uses user data to sell customer service optimization software. This flies in the face of their mission and dehumanizes the people they serve.

What is Crisis Text Line?

Crisis Text Line is the largest provider of free, 24/7, text-based crisis intervention in the United States. Launched in 2013, their trained volunteer Crisis Counselors have engaged in millions of conversations with people facing a variety of issues, from mental health challenges to homelessness and isolation.

They provide support for all kinds of crises — they’ve even helped people who texted about being upset over a political argument! The first step is often to just let someone know you’re there and that you care.

The volunteer Crisis Counselors are trained to listen to their callers’ concerns, de-escalate the situation, and connect them with resources that can help. They only engage emergency services in less than 1% of cases, and they strive to get people back to a place where they feel like they can handle their own crisis without the need for immediate intervention from first responders.

How can I use Crisis Text Line?

You can text ‘BRAVE’ to 741741, and a counselor will respond within minutes. From there, they can help you de-escalate your situation or identify local resources to seek emergency assistance.

Crisis counselors are trained to help you with whatever you need, whether that’s suicidal thoughts, depression, homelessness, bullying or a relationship issue. They will never pressure you to do anything or make judgments about how you are feeling.

Despite the negative critiques of services like Crisis Text Line, it’s important that we continue to spread awareness of these resources and encourage people to use them in their time of need. Thankfully, these free and confidential national resources are available 24/7.

You can also support Crisis Text Line’s work by becoming a monthly donor and joining their community of loyal supporters on a mission to build an empathetic world. This can be done online or by sending a check to Crisis Text Line, PO Box 24163, New York, NY 10087.

What should I do if I receive a text from Crisis Text Line?

If a person reaches out to Crisis Text Line, they will be connected with a counselor who is trained in active listening and safety planning. The counselor will help the individual sort through their feelings by asking questions and empathizing with them. The conversation usually lasts for 45 minutes, and the counselor will be able to connect the individual with resources that can help them.

The counselors are trained to talk about any type of issue that the person may be dealing with. It could be anxiety or depression, relationship issues, job stress or suicidal thoughts. The service is free, but standard messaging rates apply.

It’s important to note that the service is not a replacement for professional mental health care. If a person is in immediate danger, they should contact 911 or go to the emergency room. However, for many people, a text with a trained Crisis Counselor is the first step toward finding support.

How can I get help from Crisis Text Line?

Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States to be connected with a trained Crisis Counselor. Once connected, your counselor will say their name and invite you to share more about what’s going on — at your own pace. You can continue to text back and forth with them, sharing at your own comfort level, all while they listen, empathize, ask questions, and connect you to resources if needed.

Sometimes, what’s going on isn’t a crisis to you, but it is a crisis to someone else. This is why we use the term “crisis” broadly to refer to anything that feels out of control – from a breakup to financial hardship to anxiety about an upcoming test.

Crisis Text Line is free to use, though standard messaging rates may apply based on your carrier/plan. Crisis Counselors are volunteers who are trained to use empathy, active listening and collaborative problem-solving to help people in crisis.