Crisis Text Line
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and before the end of the month, I wanted to share Crisis Text Line. During the Summer, I had the honor to interview Jen James, the creator of the volunteer curriculum and trainer of the original supervision team of Crisis Text Line.
Crisis Text Line was developed as part of DoSomething.Org when one of the workers, Stephanie Shih received a text that read “He won’t stop raping me” “it’s my Dad.” Shih showed the message correspondence to her boss Nancy Lublin. Over the next two years, these women would develop what is now known as Crisis Text Line, the only 24/7 crisis-intervention hotline conducted via text message. Lublin recognized the high volume of people who were using text messaging as their primary mode of communication.
James’ role was to create a remote training program for volunteers all over the world. The requirements:
- A social security number for a background check
- 18 and over
- A good heart “We are not there to teach you to be kind, you should be kind. We don’t want dicks” -Jen James
Launched in March of 2014 with 20 people, today Crisis Text Line has over 4,000 volunteers and anyone can text “Hello” to 741741 if they are in crisis.
Jen has lived and personal experience dealing with crisis. Twenty-two years ago when Jen tried to take her life, there weren’t the resources available like there are today. Additionally, people did not talk about their problems, they were “swept under the rug.” Since then, Jen graduated as a film maker and continues to be both passionate and creative. She recognized her desire to help others who are faced with that moment of crisis. You can learn more about Jen here.
Interested in becoming a volunteer?
You will learn the skills to help anyone with any issue they are facing. You do not need to be an expert in eating disorders, be Social Worker or Psychologist to volunteer. The conversation and the training which you go through will cover the issues which Crisis Text Line deals with.
The volunteers are not there to judge a crisis, because every crisis is different. They want to be there for anyone during their time of crisis.
Go to their website: click here which will bring you to their volunteer page. You complete a 34 hour training and once that is completed, dedicate 4 hours a week to helping others. In Jen’s words
“It’s such a wonderful way of giving back to the world, you don’t need a cape to save a life.”
Watch the video below to learn more