United in Empathy 

Crisis Text Line has unique insight into the state of the mental health crisis in the United States. Each year, we support over a million conversations with texters in need across the country, or more than 3,500 daily. We provide support 24/7, and so we have insight into the timing, language, and key issues of mental health crises across the country almost in real time. 

Our conversations present a special snapshot of what people in crisis talked about last year. For our fifth annual United in Empathy Report, we analyzed 1.3 million conversations from 2023 to learn about emerging mental health trends.


National Summary

About Crisis Text Line Data

Crisis Text Line data is unique as we provide a special snapshot of mental health across the United States because:

  1. We are in direct conversation with people in crisis. What we learn from them is not simply the result of a survey; it is in-the-moment reporting about how people feel, and how they describe these feelings. We don’t prompt them to categorize their issues. We ask what their crisis is and listen.
  2. We have a sense of emerging trends almost in real time. For example, in March 2020, as the world was shutting down, we experienced an unusual spike of conversation volume. We also see the psychological impact of natural disasters, mass shootings, and other events in our data.  
  3. We have a long term perspective based on a large dataset of nearly 10 million conversations (nearly 300 million individual text messages) that we collected over 10 years. A lot has changed in U.S. society over this time, and we can see how events like presidential elections and the COVID-19 pandemic affected people’s mental health across the country.
  4. Our insights are derived from a combination of several sources: anonymized conversations, Crisis Counselor assessments, an optional post-conversation survey on demographics, metadata on timing and estimated location based on area codes. We also have the privilege of having a clinical team who lend their expertise in interpreting what we see.

Research Ethics at Crisis Text Line

We believe it is our duty to support research efforts that might contribute solutions to help with the mental health emergency in the United States in an ethical manner. Texters who reach out to Crisis Text Line agree at the start of the conversation to our privacy policy and terms of service in order to use our service, which detail what information we collect and how we may use it, including for research such as the United in Empathy report. We care deeply about protecting the privacy and security of our texters, and go to great lengths to protect, store, analyze, and share insights from our anonymized crisis conversations to ethically help the world address mental health issues. Crisis Text Line’s research is overseen by an Institutional Review Board (IRB).

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