Resource: Crisis Lines

Monthly Resources – September 2022
Published September 10, 2022

Help is Available 24/7! Share these numbers with students, parents and colleagues!

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

On July 16, 2022, 988 became the new number to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, originally 1-800-TALK (8255). 988 is much easier to remember! The FCC says that if someone dials the original number, the call will be routed to 988 – indefinitely.

The 988 Fact Sheet provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that:

  • Calls can be conducted in multiple languages
  • Text conversations are limited to English
  • “the Lifeline accepts calls from anyone who needs support for a suicidal, mental health and/or substance use crisis.”

According to the Washington Health Care Authority: “After July 16, Washington will launch the Native and Strong Lifeline, dedicated to serving American Indian and Alaska Native individuals who call 988. The Native and Strong Lifeline will work in partnership with the Washington Indian Behavioral Health Hub to identify resources and follow-up for those contacting 988.”

While The Trevor Project applauds the 988 centralization, the LGBTQ Trevor Lifeline, 866-488-7386 or text START to 678678, remains unchanged for specialized support.

Crisis Text Line 741741

For anyone having painful emotions and/or needing support.

For support in English, text HOME.

For support in Spanish, text AYUDA.

Native Americans may type NATIVE for specialized support.

Expect two automated responses, one to promise connection with a trained volunteer, and another to invite more information while waiting for the Crisis Counselor to join the conversation.

Most waits are five minutes or less, but could be longer if many people are texting the Crisis Text Line. Conversations can last from fifteen minutes to forty-five.

Crisis Counselors ask questions, check for understanding, and offer comments to help teens who have reached for help to sort through their feelings. The conversation ends when both parties are satisfied that the person who texted the Crisis Text Line is calm and safe. An optional survey follows.

A Teens Toolkit is available online in Spanish and English, and includes videos directing mindfulness activities such as attending to senses, breathing consciously and journaling. A Mental Health Crisis Plan can be downloaded or printed.

Teen Link

1.866.TEENLINK (833.6546): a help line for teens, by teens.

Teen Link is staffed by teens who have been trained to listen, provide non-judgemental support and offer relevant resources to their peers about whatever concerns they may have.

Through live calls, chat or text, adolescents may engage in confidential conversation about “bullying, drug and alcohol concerns, relationships, stress, depression or any other issues [they are] facing.”

  • Calls are taken from 6:00 – 10:00 PM every night.
  • Online chats are available from 6:00 – 9:30 PM every night.
  • Text conversations are possible from 6:00 – 9:30 PM on Wednesdays.

Where to Turn for Teens is a digital search engine embedded in the site to access Youth Resources Statewide.

TeenLink also directs users to dial 211 or visit www.wa211.org to find community resources of all kinds, for all ages, throughout the state.

Teen Link was started in 1996, in King County, by a crisis line worker whose own daughter, Audra Letnes, was murdered by a boyfriend who had been abusing her for an entire year. Audra had been estranged from her friends and feared telling her mother what was happening to her. In response to this tragedy, Audra’s mother created Teen Link.

Teen Line

Teen Line is also staffed by trained adolescent peers. Started in 1980, Teen Line is based in Los Angeles, but can be reached toll free from anywhere in the United States and Canada.

  • Toll free calls to (800) 852-8336 will be answered from 6:00 – 10:00 PM (Pacific Time).
  • A text conversation can be started by texting TEEN to 839863 between 6:00 – 9:00 PM.
  • Email is available through the website, as are a variety of resources for teens, caregivers, school personnel and law enforcement.

According to the Teen Line website, “the most common reasons youth reach out include difficulties with relationships, frustration with school, anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts.”

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