Everybody Hurts: The State of Mental Health In America
There’s a lot of pain in this country right now. With 129 million messages exchanged in the US, we have a pretty good idea why people are struggling. And so, today we are releasing our first-ever national report with findings of the underlying reasons people are in crisis. Everybody Hurts: The State of Mental Health in America spotlights state-specific trends of who and when people are in crisis to create solutions that will alleviate that pain.
Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (aka, the CDC) released 2018 mortality data which includes deaths from suicide and drug overdoses. “Everybody Hurts” complements those findings by identifying the key issues that prompt people to reach out for support, as well as the language they use. And bonus, our report includes 2019!
Some mental health trends are regional. A map of the United States indicates that people in the West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah) send more texts than average about suicide, while people in the South (Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi) send more texts about depression. East and West Coasters send more texts about anxiety. Explore your state.
There’s a gap to fill. For 37% of texters, Crisis Text Line was the first time they’d ever reached out for support. And, 68% of texters say they have shared something with a crisis counselor that they have never shared with another human being. Crisis counseling via text is filling a gap in the mental health care system, especially for people under 25, people of color, and those who identify as LGBTQ+.
Lethal language is predictive. Crisis Text Line uses AI to triage texters so it can support people at risk for suicide within seconds. Through machine learning, it has learned that when a texter uses the words “Excedrin,” “Ibuprofens” and “800mg,” the conversation is more likely to lead to an active rescue.
We believe that the information exchanged in our messages, the pace of those messages, the time of day, and the word choices, can help unlock the secrets to better mental health. Share this report with your elected officials, local journalists, school administrations, and your community. Together, we can make America stop hurting.