Did you know that there is a Crisis Text Hotline available to all residents of the United States? In this day in age many people, both young and old are not so keen on talking on the phone. However, many are willing to text, so the National Crisis Text Hotline was created back in 2013 and it’s still operational today!
How does the text line work?
You text 741741 when in crisis. Anywhere, anytime. A live, trained crisis counselor receives the text and responds quickly. The crisis counselor helps you move from a hot moment to a cool calm to stay safe and healthy using effective active listening and suggested referrals – all through text message using CTL’s secure platform.
All text messages are anonymous and free, although charges may apply with carriers other than AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon.
In a June 2015 article published by the Chicago Tribune, Nancy Lublin, the CEO of DoSomething.org, explained why she founded the Crisis Text Line:
The text message to a DoSomething.org staffer read: “He won’t stop raping me. He told me not to tell anyone.”
Those words quickly made their way to Nancy Lublin, the CEO of the New York City-based youth empowerment group, which runs do-good campaigns by text, like initiatives for gender-neutral bathrooms and sharing tips to prevent texting while driving.
Lublin’s staff had received a few messages — concerns about bullying and the like — unrelated to their campaigns, but “that one message stopped me in my tracks,” Lublin said. “It was like being punched in the stomach. The first rule of marketing and sales is: Go where demand is. People want this by text. We should be supplying crisis counseling by text.”
That week, Lublin started building Crisis Text Line, a national 24/7 text number — 741741 — available to everyone but mostly used by teens. It went live two years later in 2013 in Chicago and El Paso, Texas. Chicago was chosen because of the influence of an early funder, the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation. El Paso was a data-driven decision based on its large Latino population.
Within four months, the line had been contacted by cellphones from every area code in America. The organization has received tens of millions of texts since inception.
If you are suffering with anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts, there is always someone available to listen and talk. If you don’t want to talk with someone over the phone, or face to face, the Crisis Text Line is a valuable option.
If you would like to speak with someone over the phone, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.