The Crisis Text Line is a free mental health texting service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It is a non-profit organization that provides confidential crisis intervention via SMS message to those who need it.
Suicidal texters had less positive outcomes compared to non-suicidal texters
A recent study of 122,909 texts sent to the Crisis Text Line, a text messaging hotline based in the UK, has identified three distinct classes of texters. These groups can be analyzed by frequency of use, type of language used, and frequency of use of a particular type of text.
The study used a combination of an artificial neural network (ANN) model and psychodiagnostic measures to come up with a number of interesting conclusions. One of the most interesting results was that a majority of the texts analyzed were written by older men. This may indicate that the demographics of suicidal users are less diverse than those who self-reported as being non-suicidal.
While the study was not overly scientific, it did provide a glimpse into some of the psychosocial complexities surrounding suicidal texters. It found that while the majority of users did not exhibit any signs of clinical depression, there were several factors which put them at greater risk.
A recent study investigated the diversity of texters who contact the Crisis Text Line (CTL). The study looked at demographic information including race, gender, mental health symptoms, and other factors related to the texters’ lives.
For many, the Crisis Text Line was the sole source of support for those in crisis. In addition to providing trained counselors, the organization also served as a resource to those on the frontline, such as school staff and parents trying to keep it together.
According to the study, the CTL was a racially diverse resource for those in need. Black and Hispanic texters accounted for 14.2% and 20.5% of the conversations, respectively. Meanwhile, people who identify as Asian and American Indian / Alaska Native accounted for 6.8% and 3.9% of the conversations, respectively.
Crisis text line is a free mobile counseling resource that’s been around since 2013. The organization recently launched a 24-hour Spanish-language service to capitalize on a growing demand for bilingual services. It’s also the largest provider of free crisis text-based services in the United States.
The organization’s data sources include public and private datasets such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), its own employee and volunteer data, and company filings. In addition, the organization has an uncompensated member on its Data Advisory Board. Among the many advantages of working with a crisis resource, its community coordinator has baseline cultural responsibility and a key role in measuring and escalating community data. Ideally, this person can influence key priorities and foster a welcoming culture.
Of course, a crisis resource does more than help people in need. It can also help them navigate the mental health maze and see beyond their problem.
Quantified approach to mental-health data collection
The National Survey of Children’s Health estimates that more than one in four children in the United States suffered from a mental disorder in the past year. One in 11 children suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and one in twenty children has experienced a major depressive episode.
Several federal data systems are tracking the prevalence of mental health disorders. For example, the Centers for Disease Control’s Surveillance of School and Student Health (SSSHC) collects data on suicide, while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Office of Minority Health tracks data on HIV/AIDS among children.
Data on mental health services, however, is sparse. Only a small fraction of students who commit suicide seek treatment at a university counseling center. Similarly, federal data systems are not comprehensive when it comes to indicators of good mental health.
The Crisis Text Line (CTL) is a free, 24/7 text-based mental health support service. CTL provides trained counselors to support individuals in crisis. Its mission is to reduce the risk of suicide at the moment of a crisis. To achieve this, CTL has been expanding its reach and providing mental health support to people across the country. In addition to providing crisis support, CTL offers an opportunity to participate in other interventions.
Research has shown that a large proportion of suicidal texters are repeat users of the text-based hotline. Researchers sought to understand how this pattern might affect the quality of help sought by texters.
Researchers analyzed data from a number of first and last conversations with Crisis Text Line. They found that a majority of users were satisfied with the service. However, some individuals experienced lengthy wait times to speak to a counselor.