How It Works
Free support at your fingertips, 24/7
Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via the medium people already use and trust: text. Here’s how it works:
- Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.
- A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds quickly.
- The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment
Cost - Our service is completely free, but messaging rates apply if you’re NOT on Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, or T-Mobile.
Getting Connected - The first responses are automated. They tell you that you’re being connected with a Crisis Counselor, and invite you to share a bit more. About 90% of the time, it takes less than five minutes to connect you with a Crisis Counselor. It may take longer during busy times. When you’ve reached a Crisis Counselor, they’ll introduce themselves, reflect on what you’ve said, and ask you to share at your own pace.
The Conversation - You’ll then text back and forth with the Crisis Counselor. You never have to share anything you don’t want to. The Crisis Counselor will help you sort through your feelings by asking questions, empathizing, and actively listening. The Crisis Counselor is a trained volunteer, not a professional. They can provide support, but not medical advice. The goal of any conversation is to get you to a calm, safe place. Sometimes that means providing you with a referral to further help, and sometimes it just means being there and listening. A conversation usually lasts about 45 minutes.
Confidentiality - If you’re in immediate danger of suicide, we may need to send you emergency services. This happens in about 1% of conversations. If you’re a minor being abused by an adult whose care you are in, we may have to report the situation. Otherwise, everything you tell us remains completely confidential.
Ending the conversation - The conversation typically ends when you and the Crisis Counselor both feel comfortable deciding that you’re in a “cool,” safe place. Sometimes the conversation won’t be able to go on as long as you’d like it to. This isn’t because we don’t care; it’s because we want you to be able to go out and use the coping skills and strategies we discussed. After the conversation, you’ll receive an optional survey about your experience. This helps us help you and others like you!
Texting Again - You’re welcome to text back in any time that you’re in crisis again. We won’t be able to connect you to the same Crisis Counselor, but all of our Crisis Counselors are trained the same way and equally willing to provide you support.
Again, we’re free, nationwide (in the US), 24/7, and available via text at 741741. When you’re ready to talk, we’re ready to listen.
What issues can you text us about?
If it’s a crisis to you, it’s a crisis to us. It’s not just suicide – any painful emotions that get in the way of your mental well-being are a crisis. This might include:
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Eating Disorders
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Relationship Issues
Who can text?
People of all ages – we’re not just for teenagers. Parents, college students, older adults, and anyone else are welcome to text.