Recently, I started volunteering as a crisis counselor for the crisis text line. I believe this is a valuable resource available to those who need it. I wanted to share some information about Crisis Text Line (CTL) for those who may be interested in learning more about it.
What is it? The crisis text line is a nationwide, 24/7 crisis line. Anyone 13 years of age or older can text 741-741 free of charge. It is not a substitute for therapy but rather a tool that can be used by those who are having a “hot moment” to get to more of a “cool calm”. It offers a safe space for the texter to share what is on their mind and a trained volunteer crisis counselor assists them in coming up with an action plan to help them better cope. Common issues people text in about include anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and issues with friends and family.
How Does It Work? Simply text any word or phrase to 741-741. An automated response will pop up. Usually within 5 minutes, a crisis counselor will be connected to you. They will introduce their self, and begin talking with you.
Who Are The Crisis Counselors? The crisis counselors that respond to texters are volunteers who go through a 6 week, 34-hour online training program. Some of the crisis counselors have also taken college courses in psychology or social work. A few of us crisis counselors actively work in the counseling field. As a professional counselor, I am personally impressed with the quality of training that the volunteer crisis counselors go through. If you text into the crisis line, rest assured that you are in good hands.