A decade ago, we began responding to silent cries for help from people on their smartphones.
- The young student being bullied in the lunchroom.
- The anxious college student, uncertain of their future and not sure if they can go on.
- The overwhelmed and overworked nurse in the middle of their night shift.
Without speaking a word, they asked for support and were guided to a cooler, safer calm.
When Crisis Text Line first launched, no one expected we could provide substantive help through text messages. Today, nearly 9 million text conversations later, we proved it’s not only possible, but highly effective. Anyone, anywhere can get fast, free, and discreet support from our community of thousands of trained volunteer crisis counselors.
An Effective, Scalable Mental Health Solution, One Text at a Time
Today’s mental health crisis far outpaces traditional solutions. Depression and suicidal ideation have been consistently increasing, especially among young people (ages 10-24), and a shortage of mental health professionals means that many people — particularly people from communities impacted by systemic inequities — aren’t able to find help; 25% of our texters say they didn’t have anyone else in their lives to talk to, and only 19% say they have access to professional mental health resources. We support people going through any type of mental health challenges, from struggles with homework, bullying, or relationships, to abuse, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. Our text-based mental health support service helps people feel less depressed, less overwhelmed and less isolated.
Did you know?
- 87% of texters find the conversation helpful
- On average, every 30 min one person is de-escalated from the point of imminent risk for harming themselves or others
Volunteering: The Gift That Gives Back to Our Crisis Counselors
Through a tumultuous decade and millions of conversations, our volunteers were there to listen and help texters find their strength to cope. Our volunteers are true heroes, donating a collective 340 years of time over the last decade to help save and change lives by offering empathy, guidance, and hope. Their work as volunteer Crisis Counselors also had a profound impact on their own lives, their families and communities. Thanks to their training and service with Crisis Text Line, they took better care of their own mental health.
Did you know?
- 90% of volunteers can de-escalate situations in their lives
- 78% of volunteers can identify risky behaviors in their own communities, such as suicide risk and self-harm
From One Text to Societal Change
We’ve seen that one conversation can save a life, and what we’ve learned from 9 million conversations can have a significant impact on society and the global mental health crisis. In partnership with our research collaborators, we’ve learned from our conversation data that the pandemic affected not only the mental health of frontline workers, but also that of their children, who had a higher risk of experiencing bereavement, substance use, and other crises. We’ve learned that the psychological effect of hurricanes is enduring and that the effect of mass shootings extends far beyond affected communities.
Building a Global Solution to Support People in Crisis
The mental health crisis affects people all over the world. Mental illness, loneliness, and despair do not discriminate, so we want to make crisis support and mental health services as widely accessible as possible. Since 2018, we have teamed up with Shout in the UK, Kids Help Phone in Canada and SpunOut in Ireland - helping them with the technology needed to provide text-based crisis support. Our partnerships have enabled the support of an additional 3 million conversations and 23,000 trained volunteers internationally.
Did you know?
- Together, Crisis Text Line’s affiliates around the world have taken over 12 million text conversations
Ten years ago, we saw an opportunity to use technology to connect everyone, wherever they are, with empathetic human support — strangers supporting strangers in their time of need. Our goal for the next decade is to continue to make mental health support even more accessible to everyone on a national and global level. We are bringing light to the darkness, one text conversation at a time.
Join us, we’re just getting started.