This Free SMS Counseling Service Is Changing Mental Healthcare

Over one million people have used the services of the Crisis Textline since its inception in 2013


(ImYanis /

Both youth and adults alike rely on text messaging for most of their interpersonal communication. And while some may see this as a negative phenomenon, one entrepreneur by the name of Nancy Lublin has found a way to leverage the trend to improve mental health services.  

In 2013, Lublin founded The Crisis Textline, a rapid response service that provides 24/7 assistance to those suffering from abuse, anxiety, depression, and other emergencies. According to the website, users just text “HOME” to the number 741741 and a trained Crisis Counselor responds within minutes “to help assess risk, deescalate the situation, and craft a plan for continued safety.”

Mental illness affects approximately 25 percent of the global population at some point in their lives. Among youth, in particular, major depression has risen by 47 percent since 2013.

The new texting service will help people access professional assistance easier than ever before, since in some crisis scenarios placing a call is inconvenient, uncomfortable, or not an option.

The line also continually gathers data to improve its services.

Data from the past few years shows that young people are definitely making use of the line. Over the past five and a half years since the initiative was launched, 100 million texts have been received, with 75 percent of texters being under the age of 25. Two-thirds of the users have also reported that they are sharing information that they have never told anyone before.

Currently, the service is available in the US, Canada, and the UK, though Lublin hopes that by 2050 the service will be available in over 50 countries.

We rely on our phones to help us navigate through much of the day and this incredible service will now make sure that our mental health is also only a text message away.

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