Recently, I came across an amazing resource/tool and I had to write about it. I wish this service would have been available for me as a teen and I am so excited that something like it exists. This tool is for anyone, but definitely is a game-changer in terms of appealing to a pre-teen/teenage demographic.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and other suicide hotlines have been around for a while. These services are great and have been helping individuals throughout the nation for years. These lifelines offer 24/7 hour support and can be utilized for any crisis, not just suicidal ideation/thoughts. However, texting has become increasingly popular, especially with younger generations. Crisis Text Line is aware of this and their service is directly catered to this need.
It is simple. Text the word START to 741-741 and you will receive an automated message back that asks what your crisis is. Quickly and efficiently, you will be connected to a person who will help you move from a moment of crisis to a calmer, healthier moment. This service is not specific to a crisis of suicidal ideation/thoughts and can be used for anyone who needs a quick support in a situation where they feel overwhelmed or could be potentially unsafe. Personally, I am not someone who talks on the phone often and it can be even more challenging during a time of struggle. Additionally, some people live with others and they could hold concerns about being overheard or their privacy. The text message service is free and will not appear on phone bills (for AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon).
Crisis Text Line is not therapy and should not be used and/or viewed as such. The service is intended for getting through a moment of crisis. If you feel like you need more prolonged, consistent, personalized, etc. help then take the time to find a therapist/counselor you feel comfortable with.
For more info on The National Suicide Hotline – Suicide Hotline Website
For more info on Crisis Text Line – Crisis Text Line FAQ