Crisis Text Line

The Cool Calm

The Cool Calm is the Crisis Text Line blog. Insights, data, stories, and other looks at our work in crisis intervention and technology.

December 2017 Newsletter: Happy Holidays

Holidays can be stressful. Remember to take time for yourself - your health is important and we need you around.
— @CrisisTextLine on Twitter

This is our fifth holiday season providing crisis support, and we’ve gotten some incredible data on winter holiday crisis trends.

I. Data Notes: Winter Holidays ❄️  🕎 🎄

The Basics

  • Content: Given the fact texters are in crisis when messaging in, we were surprised to find that the top emotion that showed up in these conversations was “happy.” Family came up quite a bit, with “mom” and “dad” among the top words used by texters.

  • Demographics: These texters skew older (31.2% are 25 and older, compared to 24.0% in the general population of texters.)

  • Location: Holiday talk is more common in the Northeast, and less so in the South and Northwest.

  • Timing: Holiday-related conversations start in mid-November each year, peak in December at 12% of total conversations, and drop off by mid-January. These conversations are more likely to come in late at night, and over the weekend.


  • Our data does not corroborate the myth that suicides spike over the winter holidays. We don’t see a significant change in the number of conversations about suicide. Both overall volume and active rescues (as a percentage of all convos) drop.

  • Mentions of self harm spiked 30% on Thanksgiving, but have since returned to the average rate (~10% of conversations).

  • Depression as an issue has traditionally peaked on Christmas Eve (33% of conversations vs. the typical 25%).

II. Heroes 💪🏼

In this special edition of Heroes, check out CC Ronni Higger’s powerful story in this New York Times video! We're in awe of how much she gives to us and the texters she supports.

The sticker on Ronni's laptop, "This Person Saves Lives," couldn't be more true.
Inspired by what she does? You could do it too!

III. Org News 📰


  We’re hiring!

Product Launches.

  • Thanks to collaboration between the data, product, tech, and supervision teams, we've revamped our Referrals and post-conversation survey to be consistent and data-informed. Crisis Counselors now spend 55% less time filling out the survey - that's more time supporting texters in crisis!


  • A&E’s Undercover High. We’re proud to be a resource for viewers of the upcoming documentary series Undercover High.

  • Social action platform Global Citizen has joined as a keyword partner!

Know an awesome org we should be partnered with? Email Liz Eddy at

IV. Blog Highlights 💻

Dealing With Compassion Fatigue by Liana Meffert (Crisis Counselor)

I tried to do my part: I attempted to place myself in the shoes of the victims and made donations when I could. And yet, these disasters weren’t mine, the tragedies weren’t visceral: the nationwide disasters hit like a dull pain.

Inside Look 🕵️

Our staff is hosting "Ask Me Anything" chats for our Crisis Counselors. In the three so far, we've learned a lot about what makes our volunteers tick, and vice versa!