Crisis Text Line International
Due to overwhelming demand and a genuine passion to help people in crisis everywhere, Crisis Text Line is expanding outside the United States!
We are committed to launching one Crisis Text Line Affiliate per country and setting a global standard for crisis intervention in the process. How? Through collaborations with local experts and organizations who share our vision and principles.
Why do global standards matter?
- Quality assurance: The affiliation process will ensure that text line operators offer a consistent, high-quality service to texters. We can all learn from each other.
- Data: We believe that open information fosters understanding, smart policy, research, and best practices. Good shared data will make each text line stronger, and the world better.
- Global partnerships: One standard for text-based crisis counseling will make it easier for potential funders and partners to identify potential crisis text line partners because they adhere to the same set of standards.
- Impact: Ultimately, by working collaboratively with international text line operators we can serve more people with fewer resources.
What is an Affiliate?
- One per country. A Crisis Text Line Affiliate is an independent NGO committed to delivering free, 24/7, text-based crisis counseling services for one country. We plan to work with one existing organization per country to form each Affiliate. (We know that some countries have lots of existing mental health, substance abuse, helplines, and crisis orgs–our hope is that you will all work together, under one umbrella organization, to bring Crisis Text Line to your country.)
- Independent. We’ll support you in making your text line a success. But this is your thing and should reflect your experience and culture. Affiliates are responsible for their own fundraising, implementation, referral banks, mobile carrier relationships, volunteer recruitment, texter marketing, Board of Directors, and everything else goes into running a great organization.
- Non-discriminatory. This matters to us. Crisis Text Line Affiliates should serve all individuals regardless of issue, age, race, religion, political belief, sexual orientation, gender identity…you get the idea. We’re here for all people in pain.
- Financial viability. This is a serious endeavor. Before launching, Crisis Text Line Affiliates should have the financial resources to run a national text service for at least two years. (See details below re: associated costs.)
Benefits of Being an Affiliate
- Fast track. Becoming a Crisis Text Line Affiliate means the opportunity to build on the knowledge, practice, and technology that we’ve developed over the past 3+ years…for FREE! Yep, no plans to charge you any money. (Affiliates are family. And you don’t charge family.) And no hidden agenda. We’re a nonprofit – we really just want to help.
- Technology & Accessibility. You’ll have access to the crisis counseling platform built by our skilled engineers. This includes the real-time algorithms and analysis tools that help us improve our service and the world. You’ll also benefit from our integrations with Facebook, Youtube, Kik, and other upcoming messaging apps that make the service available through those platforms in addition to text message. We’re working hard to make crisis support as accessible as possible to users around the world.
- Training & Best Practice. We know what it takes to start and run a successful crisis text line – because we’ve done it! We’ll give you our training materials, supervision manuals, monitoring & evaluation guidelines, and implementation best practice to use, tweak, and tailor to your context. We’ll also provide lots of love, friendship, guidance, and support along the way!
- Brand & Community. We have established Crisis Text Line as a leader in crisis counseling and using technology for good. We have generated hundreds of articles in popular publications, raised millions of dollars in fundraising, and established partnerships across multiple sectors. By becoming an Affiliate, you become a part of our brand and our vibrant community. You will have the opportunity to leverage our reputation and relationships to attract funding, partners, and positive press. We will also bring our Affiliates together on quarterly calls and annual in-person meeting to share with and learn from each other.Perhaps most importantly, by becoming an Affiliate, you are part of a global solution to support people in crisis everywhere.
Where are you currently expanding?
We are currently in pilot mode, working on expansion to two countries outside the U.S. (to be announced later this year). Stay tuned for future expansion plans.
What can I do in the meantime?
Start to consider the following:
- Current landscape. Do crisis counseling services exist in your country? If so, how are they delivered? And what does utilization look like?
- Demand. Is there demand (either covert or overt) for the service that Crisis Text Line offers? Talk to your friends, family, neighbors, etc. Ask them what they think. Would they utilize the service? How would you market it to potential users?
- Stakeholders. Who are the important players in the crisis counseling space that should be included in the discussion of starting a Crisis Text Line in your country? What is their likely response?
- Mobile coverage. What does mobile coverage look like in your country? What percentage of mobile phone users utilize text message and messaging apps?
- Accessibility. Think about the challenges to accessibility you might face and how you would overcome them. In particular, how would you provide text services free of charge to the user? Who are the major mobile providers in your country? Would they be open to waiving fees for a crisis text line?
- Organizational structure. Consider whether your organization will work independently on this endeavor or with a group of organizations. How can you most effectively leverage each stakeholder’s resources to make Crisis Text Line a success in your country?
- Funding. Where might you raise the funds to launch a Crisis Text Line in your country? You’ll need between 2 million and 5 million USD to get going.
What are the Costs Associated with Starting a Crisis Text Line?
- Human Resources. Building a crisis text line is a large undertaking. You’ll need strong leadership, professional trainers, licensed supervisors, data scientists, program managers and crisis counselors!
- Technology and Data Storage. Your crisis counseling platform will be managed centrally by Crisis Text Line, which means that you will not have to pay for the time of engineering staff. (Yay! Thats a huge savings for you!) Affiliates will be responsible, however, for managing and paying for servers, hosting, and any local IT support needed.
- Marketing. Getting the word out about your Crisis Text Line Affiliate may require some marketing dollars! Think about the most effective means of doing this in your country.
- Overhead. Like any organization, you will need to account for equipment, space for your management team, administrative fees, legal fees, accounting fees, consultants, etc.
- Travel. It will be important to set aside funds to attend the annual Crisis Text Line Affiliate summit and other relevant conferences to meet and network with people in the field.
If you have additional questions about applying to be a Crisis Text Line Affiliate about launching a Crisis Text Line in your country that are not answered on this page please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that given the high volume of emails we receive response times may be slow.
IMPORTANT: This email is not intended for counseling services. We are currently only able to provide crisis counseling via text message in the United States (text 741741) – though we hope to change that soon! If you are located outside of the USA and are in need of help please reference the International Association for Suicide Prevention website, Suicide.org, or Child Helpline International for a list of crisis lines in your country. If you are in an emergency, please call the emergency telephone number in your country.