I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this or not, but I feel like it may be helpful to someone on here who may need it, right now, or maybe later on in the future.
Being teenagers, and for others young adults, we can pretty much agree that life has it's ups and downs, so I decided I'd share this.
If you're going through a crisis right now, whether you're feeling extremely depressed, you just had a fight with someone, you're pregnant, or you're feeling suicidal I recommend you reach out to an organization called Crisis Text Line (CTL.) They say if it's a crisis to you, it's a crisis to them.
Even if you aren't in a crisis, this is sort of nice to know for the future.
I made a FAQ below, and I know it's kind of lengthy - but feel free to skim through if you need to, or want too haha.
What is Crisis Text Line?
Crisis Text Line is a non-profit organization, which actually started because of their "parent-company" called DoSomething.org (also one of the largest youth organizations around the world) to help with people who are in a crisis. You don't have to be feeling suicidal to text in. If it's a crisis to you, it's a crisis to them. They're free, confidential, and available 24/7 all throughout the US.
What makes them different from a traditional hotline?
Unlike traditional hotlines, Crisis Text Line converses between you and a trained counsellor completely via text.
Are they an alternative to professional help?
They're a great non-profit for sure (haha) but they aren't an alternative to professional help. If it's necessary, or if your counsellor feels like it's necessary or helpful - they'll be able to locate resources nearby you (if you feel comfortable sharing that information with them.)
What is it like when I text in?
When you text in, and if you're in a crisis - the counsellor will listen to you (they're not their to judge you) and will help to try and get you from a hot moment, to a cool moment.
How can I trust Crisis Text Line?
Crisis Text Line has been supported by people like PewDiePie, and Markiplier. They've also partnered with companies like JCPenny to help spread word about them. In addition, their parent-company is sponsored by companies such as Google, and jetBlue, you'll also find that CTL is recommended on the show's website, "13 Reasons Why."
Oh and just a fun fact, within the course of (I believe something like 2-4 years) they expanded, and word spread, with zero marketing. Meaning they barely advertised, and had a huge user base within several years. Mainly in part due to DoSomething.org members spreading word about CTL.
How do I get started?
Text "HOME" to 741-741.
Please Note: As of right now CTL only works in the United States, and they're currently expanding out worldwide,
Are there any fees?
Nope, the service is completely fee. The only thing you may have to worry about would be SMS fees for messaging them through your phone. However if you have AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon you don't have to worry about being charged for any additional SMS/Messaging fees as CTL has partnered up with them to completely waive any, and all fees. And if you have any other carriers, there may be some fees, and you may also notice that on your billing statement "741-741" will show up.
Is it anonymous?
Reaching out to them is completely anonymous via SMS/text message. They can't even "access" your location even if they wanted too, because they simply can't. That's how anonymous it is.
What if I don't have a phone?
If you don't have a phone you can reach out to Crisis Text Line using Facebook, and Kik. As a heads up though, your messages may not be completely anonymous at that point as FaceBook and Kik will have access to your conversation.
How old do I have to be to text in?
Whether you're a pre-teen, teen, adult, elder person - Crisis Text Line is here for you.
Who will I be talking too? Are they a bot?
You'll be connected to a trained volunteer - also called Crisis Counsellors (these are volunteers from all across the US by the way.) You may feel like you're speaking to a bot - but you aren't, they're real humans. Through their training program, the Counsellors are taught what to say, and what not to say, which is why they may seem sort of bottish, but maybe you'll understand that.
How helpful are they?
The application process to be a volunteer for Crisis Text Line is supposedly rigorous, a majority of them only get selected because CTL wants the best volunteers possible for people. In addition, they have an extensive training programs that requires weeks of training, that all Counselors have to go through.
Texting that can save lives.
Crisis Text Line is using data from text messages to work on one of the largest enclaves of mental health data, and research in history. Before, when people would call into traditional hotlines, it was hard to collect any sort of data really. Mental health professionals, and researchers are using this data to better understand mental health. For example, as the CEO of CTL put it, "If we know anxiety peaks at 9 AM, we can tell schools to make counsellors more readily available at that time."
You can visit the enclave here: http://crisistrends.org/
In addition, CTL has developed an algorithm that just recently discovered texters who text in with a sad face emoji, or mention anything such as: Ibuprofen, advil are more likely to have an active rescue sent out (meaning counsellors have to call local authorities of the texter for help in critical situations) compared to texters who text in mentioning keywords such as suicide. These people are the ones who not only have what's necessary, but have serious intentions of acting out on it. With this data, CTL attempts to prevent any attempts by sending active rescues out.
On average, about 10 active rescues are made every single day. Those are 10 lives that CTL has been saving every day, in addition to the other texters they've talked too about anything again, such as: depression, anxiety, and so forth.
I know this post again is pretty lengthy, so if you made it through all of this - then kudos to you, but I do apologize for being so in depth about it. Just wanted to be as thorough as I could for anyone who was interested in CTL.
Sorry if you're seeing duplicate posts. I'm not sure as to why that happened. I'm assuming it occurred because I was "previewing" my post as I was writing it, so the site decided to go ahead and post my preview, as well as my final post.