Crisis Text Line Fights To Make Counseling Services More Accessible For Young People
The free service can easily be accessed by sending a text message to 741741.
January 03, 2022 at 10:17 pm
Millions of people struggle worldwide, and Crisis Text Line wants to help those in need. The company, founded in 2013, aims to make counseling services more accessible in the digital age.
The organization "has no borders" and states everyone deserves free and accessible, 24/7 mental health support at their fingertips. By simply texting HOME to 741741, people throughout the United States can get connected to a trained counselor.
Affiliate services are available for people based in Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the free service offers a Spanish-language option that can be used through WhatsApp, further adding to its accessibility.
Crisis Text Line is available for anyone to use, though it's specifically skewed toward younger demographics. About 75% of users fall within the parameters of Generation Z, and most people are specifically high school-aged. The company has facilitated nearly seven million interactions since its launch and has seen a recent uptick in users because of the stressors caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"There has been a huge increase in texters," Maria Ligouri, a volunteer Crisis Text Line counselor, said. "Plus, there is the surge in COVID cases. This holiday season has been very stressful on a lot of people."
Crisis Text Line also keeps data on their "crisis trends." New Jersey is listed as the U.S. state with the most frequent number of documented, anxiety-related crises, though Puerto Rico has the number one spot overall. This "crisis trends" data also indicates that more people reach out with anxiety-related crises during the late hours of the night, suggesting that the 24/7 service can be highly beneficial in making help available virtually whenever.
Dena Trujillo, the CEO of Crisis Text Line, noted that the core mission of the service is to meet people "where they are" to assist them effectively.
"One-time traffic goes up is lunchtime during the school season. People are sitting out at lunch and texting us," Trujillo said. "They can sit there while other people are around them texting."
"You could be texting for help during a holiday dinner, and no one will know anything about it because people are used to texts. Grief has gone up the last couple of years with the existence of COVID. Over 800,000 people in the U.S. alone have died," she continued. "Now, with omicron and the resurgence of COVID in the news, there are increased stress levels."
If you or someone you know could benefit from counseling, text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime, Crisis Text Line could be a great resource to utilize.