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Crisis Text Line saves lives; consider volunteering for cause

“He won’t stop raping me. He told me not to tell anyone. R u there?”

Those three sentences triggered an innovative organization’s creation, and galvanized a mission to provide crisis intervention and support 24-7 to anyone via text messaging.

That organization, Crisis Text Line, has exchanged 13,002,964 messages since August 2013.

Crisis Text Line exists to provide support and crisis intervention services to people who need them while collecting important data that can be used to fuel research. Based on Crisis Text Line’s data, texters are most affected by suicidal thoughts on Sunday, and those thoughts tend to peak around 9 p.m. Relationship issue trends gradually rise as mornings progress, peaking around 11 a.m. Texters feel most isolated on Fridays and Sundays around 8 p.m. Texters most affected by school problems are in South Carolina.

This organization is unique in that it embraces the paradox of individuals in crisis seeking safety, security and connection in the cold disconnect of their smartphone. Crisis Text Line is not a replacement for counseling or therapy, but a resource someone can turn to when they are in a “hot moment.”

In that moment, trained counselors listen to what the texter has to say, supporting them in their experiences, and empowering them with collaborative problem-solving. The most important thing is the idea of being present for them. Crisis Text Line is a reminder to people that they matter. The world sees them; and people care about them.   

Volunteering with Crisis Text Line can be done from the comfort of home. All training is online, and includes live observations, role playing, and lectures. To volunteer for Crisis Text Line is a remarkable experience, not only because of the community that exists with the remote volunteers, but the connection with the texters as well.

Anyone interested in volunteering or learning more Crisis Text Line’s services is invited to the Oxford and Lafayette County Library auditorium on Saturday at 2 p.m.

More information about Crisis Text Line can be found at www.crisistextline.org.

Jimmy Durham

Oxford