CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Teenagers today do not like talking on the phone. At least with people they don’t know. But they do text and that’s how a group of volunteer counselors are connecting with teenagers who need to talk to someone about whatever it is they’re struggling with.
Crisis Text Line is a 24-hour, 7 day a week service where teenagers can text with a licensed counselor. When a teenager wants help or feels helpless, they can text “home” to 741-741 and a trained counselor will text back, within minutes.
Counselors across the country volunteer their time to answer the texts and Crisis Text Line’s website says most text messages are answered in minutes.
A sample of texts they’ve received over the years is “I have no one to talk about it. I would like to stop cutting myself,” and “I want to die or run away. I can’t take my family.”
Problems with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, self-harm, and isolation are common issues teens face and bring before the counselors.
Counselors are trained to use crisis intervention skills to bring the texting teen from an emotional hot moment to a cooler calm. It’s especially helpful for teens who don’t want anyone to hear them talking on the phone. Text messages can be sent quietly and in private as each message is confidential. No one around them will know they’re communicating with a counselor.
Crisis Text Line has added “What’s App” messaging so those conversations are encrypted. It’s also available on the website, www.CrisisTextLine.com where people can chat through Facebook Messenger.
Once again, text the word “Home” to 741-741 to be connected almost immediately with a counselor.
Crisis Text Line is seeking counselors who’ll volunteer their time to help answer the text messages. Since it launched nearly 10 years ago, Crisis Text Line says it’s handled well over 7 million conversations with teenagers seeking help.
Since it is a non-profit that relies on volunteers Crisis Text Line is seeking trained counselors to help answer the text messages. It’s totally free for teenagers who are looking for someone to chat with.