This morning I tested out a new texting crisis line called ‘Crisis Text Line’ from my personal cell phone. I am usually leery about these texting crisis lines; however, after my experience with and research into this Crisis Text Line, I encourage professionals in all arenas to provide this number to potential at-risk individuals as a resource.
The Crisis Text Line is staffed 27/7 by trained live-counselors who are located all over the country. This service is 100% anonymous and reportedly will not show up on phone bills if the cell phone is associated with a major U.S cell phone carrier. The Crisis Text Line is free, and their goal is to have a live counselor
respond within 5 minutes of receiving a text message.
Here is how it works:
- Text 741741 from your phone
- You will receive an automated text message indicating they received your text; a link to read their terms of service; a question asking, “What’s on your mind”? and informing you that a crisis counselor will be with you in a moment
- A live crisis counselor will text you and introduce themselves
As you can see in the screen-shot of my text message conversation with the Crisis Text Line, they sent me an initial automated reply. This reply came through almost immediately after I sent my initial text message. In less than 1 minute, Abbey, a live-crisis counselor sent me a text message introducing herself. I was pleasantly surprised with the immediacy of her reply to me, which is one of the predominant reasons I am endorsing the Crisis Text Line. Neurobiologically, the brains of those in crisis renders them weak to having clarity and making good decisions, which is why immediate text crisis lines such as this one are imperative. There is only a short period of time in which truly suicidal individuals can be reached- and if they have a moment of clarity or small glimmer of hope, we need to catch them in that small window of opportunity or they could be lost.
For those who are in crisis and unable to text from their cell phone, the Crisis Text Line has texting capacity through ‘Facebook Messenger’ at facebook.com/crisistextline. They also have texting capacity through the ‘Kik’ messaging application. For more information about the Crisis Text Line, go to the Crisis Text Line’s website at crisistexline.org. Lastly, please know that this resource is not a replacement for long-term therapy.
If you are currently in crisis or actively suicidal, please text 741741 or call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.