Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line has become a leader in effective crisis intervention. Using a proprietary platform, they triage users to address those at greatest risk first, enlisting trained volunteers to provide care, safely and anonymously. Looking ahead, Crisis Text Line aspires to provide counseling to anyone who needs it — in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Arabic. This will extend coverage to one-third of the globe, expand their base of volunteer Crisis Counselors, and provide support for millions more people.
Main photo caption: Texts from frontline responders are on the rise at Crisis Text Line. / Shutterstock
With the COVID-19 pandemic heightening the need for mental health services around the world, Crisis Text Line responded to a sharp and sustained increase in texts. They supported 1.5 million conversations as of October 2020, forecasting for 1.9 million by year-end.
Frontline workers are increasingly seeking out Crisis Text Line as a mental health resource. Many texters also reported struggling with the pain of racial injustice, and students (and their parents) shared experiencing uncertainty or stress over the US election.
Crisis Text Line’s distributed network of volunteers continues to be the lifeblood of the organization. Exceeding their annual goal by 37 percent, Crisis Text Line now has nearly 12,000 active Crisis Counselors supporting texters across the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland.
This year, Crisis Text Line committed to putting equity at the center of its work, from board members to partnerships to data systems, programs and beyond. In addition to enhancing the quality, access and relevance of Crisis Text Line’s current work, these efforts will influence the mental health sector more broadly — and position Crisis Text Line to scale in a way that is meaningful to those they serve.
Feedback from Crisis Text Line Texters
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
“I started today genuinely considering ending my own life. I felt empty and terrified. But I think I will go to bed tonight looking forward to what I can do in this world. For the first time in a long time, I feel free again. Even if you quit today, you saved someone. Thank you.”
“[My volunteer] was amazing. I was having a huge mental breakdown at work and she talked me off the ledge. She gave me great advice, and I’m actually going to try it. People like myself, who have no one, really appreciate people like that. I felt like, for a moment, I mattered. I never feel like that.”
“Thank you for listening to my problems. You probably do not understand how much you affected me. I feel so much better about everything — I’m typing this in tears. Thank you so much for listening to me. If I ever have problems again, I hope I can talk to you.”
“Our Audacious vision strives for scale, and there’s no scale without adaptation. 2020 has held heartbreak at nearly every turn, and while there’s nothing we can do to reverse the tragedies across our country and world, what we can do is reflect on the evolving needs people are facing and better meet them where they are, when they need our support. We’re grateful for the backing that allows us to be nimble and present.”