The Texting Line Every Teen Should Know About

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It’s a fact of life: At one point or another, every teen will hit a rough patch. Whether it’s failing an exam or something far more serious, hard times are inevitable. While that may sound pessimistic, it doesn’t have to be—especially when there are resources to help along the way. The Crisis Text Line is a 24/7 texting resource available for teens. Young people can text the number at any time and be connected with a trained crisis counselor.

This week’s issue of The New Yorker features an in-depth profile on the organization, which is “the first and only national, 24/7 crisis-intervention hotline to conduct its conversations exclusively by text message.” The entire article “R U There?” is definitely worth a read!

Before you check that out, here’s a run-down of what you should know about the Crisis Text Line:

  • Teens in crisis can text the number 741741 to begin a free, anonymous conversation with a trained counselor, who responds within five minutes
  • Research suggests that teens are more likely to disclose sensitive information via text than in speaking conversations
  • Crisis Text Line follows two standards: 1. Fight for the texter, or make the texter the number-one priority. 2. Great crisis counseling requires great crisis counselors, so they all undergo extensive training
  • The Crisis Text Line receives an average of 15,000 texts a day
  • Based on data from 5 million texts, Crisis Text Line found that depression peaks at 8 p.m., anxiety at 11 p.m., self harm at 4 a.m., and substance abuse at 5 a.m.
  • Nancy Lublin, the CEO of DoSomething.org, is also the CEO of Crisis Text Line. This means it’s run by someone who knows a lot—and cares a lot—about teens!

Sharing this information with teens can make a world of difference, and the stats don’t lie! According to The New Yorker article, the Crisis Text Line rescues at least one texter who’s thought to be in immediate danger of suicide every single day.

As a teacher or parent, if you’re interested in volunteering for the Crisis Text Line, check out their application process online! Volunteers are trained to provide emotional support to young people who are dealing with a wide range of issues from bullying to self harm, and more.

For inspiring stories of real teens who survived tough times, check out Choices magazine! The February issue’s “Unbreakable” story features four teens who bounced back from serious traumas. And share our How To Deal video about resilience with any teens you know!

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