Celebrating 10 Years of Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line
Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
14 November 2023
In a world where connectivity has become the cornerstone of our daily lives, it is comforting to know that technology is being harnessed for good. 

A wonderful example of this is Crisis Text Line, an organisation that has been providing a lifeline to those in need for the past decade. As Crisis Text Line celebrates 10 years of impact, Virgin Unite is proud to  share why we support this extraordinary initiative.

Founded in 2013, Crisis Text Line has become a crucial resource for individuals in need, with trained volunteer Crisis Counsellors responding to over 270 million messages from people who needed mental health support, resources or simply a non-judgemental person to vent their feelings. Since its inception, Crisis Text Line has trained more than 65,000 US volunteers, and 88,000 globally, in active listening, de-escalation and collaborative problem-solving.

The world needs empathy

Crisis Text Line’s dedication to providing free, confidential, and accessible mental health support through text messages has not only saved countless lives but has also created a safe and supportive community for those struggling with mental health issues. It has become a beacon of hope, demonstrating that innovative technology can be used to make a meaningful difference in people's lives, and  was chosen as an Audacious Project in 2020.

The Audacious Project, housed at TED, was brought to life through the collaboration of some of the most respected names in the non-profit and philanthropy worlds – a funding initiative catalysing social impact on a grand scale. Formative partners include the Skoll Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Scott Cook and Signe Ostby, Virgin Unite and more. 

Crisis Text Line's journey as an Audacious Project has been a testament to its visionary approach and unwavering commitment to making a significant impact – its work aligns with Virgin Unite’s belief in the potential for technology to revolutionise the way we tackle social challenges. 

The Crisis Text Line platform continues to be accessible to anyone in crisis – providing a vital connection to trained volunteer crisis counsellors who can help guide them through their darkest moments. These live volunteers provide  free, confidential and non-judgmental mental health support. In addition, this organisation is helping to reduce the stigma around mental health issues. 

Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line

As Crisis Text Line celebrates 10 years of impact, we reflect on the incredible journey it has been on and its dedication to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, has access to the support they need. Here are some of the key things Crisis Text Line has learn from a decade of helping people:

  • Every half an hour someone in the US is on the verge of a life-threatening crisis and finds help from a 40-minute conversation with Crisis Text Line volunteers

  • Mondays, evenings and towards the end of the year is when Crisis Text line supports the most people in need

  • People show up for each other, especially when there’s a collective crisis – Crisis Text Line saw a surge in volunteer applications during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Not only are Crisis Text Line volunteers supporting people in their moment of need but the skills volunteers gain from the training also help them support family and friends as well as navigate their own mental health.

  • 90% of volunteers say their Crisis Text Line experience enables them to de-escalate situations in their own lives.

Crisis Text Line is unlocking human connection at scale so everyone has the support they need for their mental well-being. We can address the mental health epidemic and create a brighter future for all. Visit Crisis Text Line to find out more.