Text service offers salvation

By Joe Dargan

The national organization Crisis Text Line began a partnership in June with the foundation of Community College Students and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to provide students with a 24-hour text hotline.

Crisis Text Line’s website says that a crisis is typically a moment of extreme emotional pain that gets in the way of living an everyday life.

By texting “connect” or “courage”  to 741741, students can gain access to more than 3,000 crisis counselors who are specially trained to help with emotional emergencies that they may not be able discuss with friends or family.

Since this is a free program funded by grants and donations, the crisis counselors are all volunteers from various parts of the country.

According to its website, Crisis Text Line has been helping people across America for the last four years and has facilitated more than 43 million text conversations to date.

“We want to be where you are. We want to make it as easy as possible for people who are in pain to get help,” said Crisis Text Line’s CEO, Nancy Lublin.

“Crisis Text Line was born from the rib of DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change.”

Dozens of members of Dosomething.org were regularly texting in to ask for help with personal issues.

The inquiries prompted Lublin to launch Crisis Text Line as part of its services in August of 2013.

After four months, all 295 area codes in the U.S were using the text line. Due to the success of the service, Crisis Text Line became its own entity two years later and Lublin went with it.

Lubmin was CEO of Dosomething.org from 2003 until 2015. The organization says that homelessness and finances are the top issues discussed by

California Community College students, though most people generally associate a crisis hotline with individuals dealing with issues related to suicide.

“Some kids look to their family members and friends and often times they aren’t there for them. It’s nice to see an organization moving in the right direction to offer some support, but I’d be interested to see if the long-term data shows a reduction in youth suicides as a result of the service ” said East Los Angeles College psychology Professor Randy Ludwig.

According to student and counseling staff member Jean Cal, students have been picking up the pamphlets and other materials related to the Crisis Text Line from ELAC’s counseling office.

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