Monday, February 19, 2024

Does Crisis Text Line Call The Police

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Drug Or Alcohol Abuse

Crisis Text Line – A free, 24/7 text line for people in crisis | Kati Morton

If you are experiencing any kind of emergency situation related to drug or alcohol use, you should call 911 or your local emergency line.

SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357

If you are struggling with addiction or are concerned about a loved one’s alcohol or drug abuse, you can contact the hotline for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This US government agency offers support and information about treatment and recovery.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

You May Be Asked For:

  • Your name
  • The location you are currently at
  • Home phone number, or if away from home, current number you are at
  • Your age
  • Names of your family physician, psychiatrist and/or therapist, if any
  • Community mental health centres you may be affiliated with
  • Information about prior hospitalizations
  • Information on prior suicide attempts or acts of self-harm
  • Tell the Crisis Line Responder if you have any means of self-harm or suicide available
  • Tell the Crisis Line Responder of any diagnosis you may carry
  • List any allergies and/or medical conditions, including issues of mobility (important if the Crisis Line Responder tries to arrange for transportation

An Alternative To The Lifeline Is The Crisis Text Line Which Offers Confidential Support 24/7 Via Text Message

If you are in a situation where you can’t talk over the phone, the Crisis Text Line might be a good option. “It’s an excellent alternative to the hotline because you can be anywhere, anytime having a crisis and reach out for help and nobody will know there’s a tremendous sense of privacy and anonymity,” Dr. Shairi Turner, chief medical officer of Crisis Text Line, told BuzzFeed News.

You just text 741741 you can start with “hi” or “I need help” or anything you want and you’ll get a few links and be asked if you want to be connected with a trained volunteer. Your number will come up as anonymous and there’s an option to erase the conversation and remove it from the system.

“If we’re tying it to this week’s tragedy with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, you could be a celebrity and text in and stay completely anonymous nobody would recognize you,” Turner said.

The text line is also beneficial for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and those who have speech difficulties. Sometimes, it’s just easier to describe your problems in a text rather than a phone call. The Crisis Text Line uses an algorithm to detect “high risk” phrases and answer those texters immediately.

The goal is to de-escalate and provide the person with coping skills and resources. Similar to Lifeline, volunteers try to work with the person to come up with a safety plan before calling the police which only occurs in about 20 out of over 3000 text conversations each day, Turner said.

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A Trained Crisis Worker Will Answer The Phone

The person you end up speaking to will be a skilled, trained worker from the crisis center they may be a staff member, professional, or a volunteer. But everyone is required to go through the same training to answer the Lifeline, said Sinwelski.

Crisis workers are trained to talk comfortably and calmly, use active listening, assess risk, and determine if a person is in danger. “They are able to listen to you and your emotions in a way that’s non-judgmental and comforting so callers feel like they can trust the person on the other end of the line,” Sinwelski said.

They will answer with a greeting, but the worker won’t immediately ask you a specific set of questions. You can start the conversation however you want.

If You Or Someone You Know Is In Emotional Distress Or Suicidal Crisis Check Out The Resources Below


* Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK . Here is a list of international suicide hotlines.

* Text TALK to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free counseling.

* Call the SAMHSA Treatment Referral Hotline, 1-800-662-HELP , for free, confidential support for substance abuse treatment.

* Call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE , for confidential crisis support.

* Call Trevor Lifeline, 1-866-488-7386, a free and confidential suicide hotline for LGBT youth.

* 7 Cups and IMAlive are free, anonymous online text chat services with trained listeners, online therapists, and counselors.

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Will The Police Get Called If I’m Suicidal And Call A Suicide Hotline

This is a tricky question and the answer is neither “yes” nor “no.” In the vast majority of cases, no police involvement is required and in the cases where emergency help is needed, suicide hotline staff will make every attempt to gain permission to send them. The goal of a suicide hotline is to help you with your personal crisis and no one-size-fits-all solution is possible.

That being said, if you are actively suicidal and threatening to imminently hurt yourself, it is possible that emergency personnel may be called without your permission. While no one likes that scenario, it truly is the best, lifesaving thing an operator can do in a small number of cases.

Is The Service Confidential And Anonymous

Our texting service is confidential but not anonymous. This means our crisis responders are not able to identify you based on your cellphone number and can only access information you choose to share with them. However, in certain circumstances a Kids Help Phone Texting Supervisor may need to access your information only when it is absolutely necessary for your safety or the safety of others. Depending on the situation, they may be required to call child protection services, an ambulance/EMS or the police. Read more about our Privacy Policy and Duty to Report. If you are concerned about your anonymity, you can still call a counsellor at this service is confidential and anonymous.

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The Third Choice: Suicide Hotlines Psychiatry And The Police

With Covid-19 showing no sign of abating, mental health care continues to be an important site of treatment for many Americans. While traditional therapy has continued to be prohibitively expensive for most, teletherapy has been covered by most major health insurance companies since the early days of the pandemic and is currently free for upwards of 130 million Americans. 2020 has seen the most widespread offering of fee-less teletherapy in the U.S., but the fact of teletherapys financial accessibility is not quite new: most forms of tele-mental health care have been free or low-fee across their long history.

The Telephonic Church

Because the topics surrounding suicidal ideation were so taboo that psychiatry wasnt an available form of care, Varah had to consider how to reach those who were in extremis. He recalls,

. . . there were three suicides a day in Greater London how would they get in touch at the moment of crisis? In an emergency the citizen turns to the telephone and dials 999. I looked at mine: FIRE it said. But if you were on a ledge about to jump and needed a ladder, thered be very few phones on the ledge with you. POLICE it said. But at that time suicide was a felony.

Within and beyond Varahs church, where suicide rates were increasing, suicide was figured as both a moral crime and a legal one: suicide or the attempt of suicide both carried penalties .

The Anonymous Ear

Look Magazine,


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Preventing Suicide: Crisis Text Line

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides support for people in distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week through its hotline. In addition to phone services, they also offer a chat service called “Lifeline Chat,” which connects individuals in crisis with counselors who provide support and share resources. Though there may be a wait time to speak with someone, users will always eventually be connected with a counselor.

Crisis Text Line assists anyone who’s reached a point of crisis, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Users can text it to speak with a trained crisis counselor who will “bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem solving.”

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Who Can Use The Service

The service is available to youth across Canada dealing with any issue, big or small. By texting CONNECT to 686868, you can chat confidentially with a trained, volunteer crisis responder for support with any issue. Our texting service is available 24/7/365. You dont need a data plan, Internet connection or an app to use it. Remember, all conversations between young people and volunteer crisis responders are confidential.

What Does The Crisis Line Offer

  • It is available free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • It is staffed by highly trained volunteer Crisis Line Responders who are supported by professional staff
  • Crisis Line Responders provide assessment and screening in every situation, support in a crisis situation & suicide intervention, as required
  • Crisis Line Responders will connect a client to the local Crisis Team, if required, with the client’s consent
  • All calls are confidential

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You Can Develop A Safety Plan And Potential Interventions

There may be a situation where thoughts about suicide just wont leave your head no matter how helpful a crisis counselor is. If you are still concerned about hurting yourself, you and the crisis worker will come up with a plan that feels right to you. In some cases, that means having a counselor come to your house, brainstorming family or friends that can help you, or scheduling another call to check-in with you later. In a situation that can feel overwhelming and stressful, they help put the control back into your hands to keep you safe and alive.

What To Know Before Calling A Crisis Hotline


You don’t need to be experiencing a crisis to contact a crisis hotline. At most of these hotlines, the volunteers and counselors who answer calls, texts and chat messages are trained to help someone in crisis. But you can also reach out if you’re feeling sad, anxious or stressed and don’t know where to turn.

These hotlines also serve friends, family members and loved ones of someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis, domestic violence, abuse, addiction and many other issues.

Even if someone at a crisis hotline cannot help you with your specific needs, they can point you to the right resources that can. No one will ever make you feel bad for trying to get help, and no concern is too trivial or small. If it feels hard for you to manage, it’s worth reaching out.

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Mental Health Support Team

Should your situation find you distressed or in crisis and in contact with the police, the Mental Health Support Team is available to provide support. Together a YSSN Crisis Worker and a plain-clothed York Regional Police Officer can offer a timely mobile response to ensure that appropriate Police and Crisis Services are available.

The Mental Health Support Team operates from 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week and can be accessed by calling

You Guide The Conversation

This conversation is for you to talk through everything that youre feeling. Yes, the person on the other side of the phone may ask a few questions to get things started, but you get to decide what you feel comfortable sharing. You can talk about anything. The call can also last for however long you want it to. Theres no script thats followed, the crisis workers are truly just having a conversation with you and hoping that you can feel better.

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What Is The Crisis Line

The Crisis Line is the first point of public access to the world of mental health services for people who are experiencing serious mental health issues. This could include situational crisis, psychosis, severe depression, anxiety or suicidal behaviour.

Individuals, families or concerned friends may call the Crisis Line where our volunteer Crisis Line Responders will assess each situation, offer support and, if required, connect you with the appropriate Crisis Team in your area.

What Happens When I Text

The Truth About Crisis Text Line

To start using the texting service, text CONNECT to 686868. The first few texts you receive will be automated messages from Kids Help Phone giving you more information about the service and our Privacy Policy. After that, youll be connected to a trained crisis responder who can talk to you about any issue, big or small. You can end a conversation with a crisis responder at any time by texting the word STOP. This means that we wont send you any more messages unless you text again.

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Satisfaction Survey For Community Crisis Response

YSSN is committed to providing the highest possible quality of care to our clients. In order to help us do that, we are asking you to complete this brief confidential survey about your experiences with our Crisis Response Services so we can continue to do what we do well and to make improvements where needed.

Crisis Counselors Are Taught To Empathize With Texters Rather Than Interrogate Them

“A statement like, ‘Hey, I’m here for you,’ can be just as effective as a question about what’s wrong,” Raja says. Counselors only pry if someone seems to be in danger, and they rarely offer advice: Because the goal is to empower individuals to suss their own solutions, volunteers prompt the texter to identify options and weigh pros and cons.

To that end, counselors are trained to avoid conversations about themselves even if they’ve been in a situation similar to what the texter is describing. “It’s better to let them tell you what they’re feeling, and tell them it takes courage for a person to express their deepest feelings despite the fear of judgment and retaliation,” Raja says. “It’s important for them to hear that from someone who genuinely cares.”

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Ways Of Contacting Suicide Hotlines

Because people in distress are all different, people choose to access suicide hotline services in different ways. Suicide hotlines provide a toll-free number, but many also provide online chat, email, and text messaging hotline services as well. You should choose to access a suicide hotline in the way that makes you the most comfortable. Calls to most suicide hotlines are confidential and free.

Kids / Youth / Family

What To Do If You Are In Crisis
  • Good2Talk – 1-866-925-5454, 24 hrs/7 days
  • Kids Help Phone: The Kids Help Phone provides immediate support that young people need 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Counsellors answer calls and online questions from across Canada. No matter what the problem or concern, the counsellors will provide immediate and caring support, information and, if necessary, referral to a local community or social service agency.
  • LGBT Youthline
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    Messaging Apps If Youre In Crisis It Should Be Easy To Get Mental Health Support From Sending A Text Message To Reaching Out Through A Messaging App Heres The Rundown On Anything And Everything You Need To Know About Getting In Touch With A Crisis Counselor

    Are there any other ways to reach a Crisis Counselor other than text?

    Yes, were leveraging messaging apps!

  • You can reach us through Facebook Messenger. Using the Send Message button at button will connect you to a live Crisis Counselor.
  • You can reach us through WhatsApp by messaging 443-SUP-PORT.
  • We are NOT yet available on other messaging apps, including Google Voice and TextNow. We apologize for any inconvenience and invite you to use Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp if youre unable to use regular SMS for any reason.
  • These services are for people in crisis. Have a general inquiry? Email .

    If I reach out via an app, does confidentiality still apply?

    Yes. Crisis Counselors only know what texters share with them, and that information stays between you, unless sharing it with emergency services is absolutely necessary for your safety. We take your confidentiality seriously. Check out our Terms of Service here.

    If you reach out via Facebook Messenger, who has access to the data?

    Three parties: you , Crisis Text Line, and Facebook.

    If you reach out via a messaging app, how do I get my data deleted?

    Message us back with the word LOOFAH. Well scrub your data from our system, and if youre using Facebook, you can delete it from their interface or request them to do it for you.

    If you reach out via a messaging app, which terms of service apply?

    Suicide Hotline: What Happens When You Call

    When people are in a crisis, where they are considering taking their own lives, it’s critical that they reach out to a resource such as a suicide hotline. However, many people are scared of calling a suicide hotline as they aren’t sure what will happen if they do call. This fear might keep some people away. Understanding what happens when you call a suicide hotline can help ease your worries and make reaching out to one easier.

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    Data Crisis Text Line Was Built From The Ground Up Around Technology And Data With The Goal Of Helping People Thrive We’ve Collected One Of The Largest Health Data Sets In The World Heres Everything You Need To Know About How Were Using Data To Change The World

    What issues do you track? Can you add more?

    See the issues we track at If youre a researcher or practitioner with interest in another issue, submit your suggestion in the form at the bottom of

    Who can apply for access to Crisis Text Line data?

    Visit our Open Data Collaborations page to learn more.

    What is is a for-profit subsidiary of Crisis Text Line that will sell training to companies interested in stepping up their empathy game. Learn more here.

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