September is National Suicide Prevention Month to bring awareness of the rising number of
people taking their own lives and the resources available to help.
In a sign of our times, suicide among teenagers and children continues to rise.
According to the American Psychological Association, more than 20% of teenagers say they have seriously considered suicide. It is now the second leading cause of death among people aged 15-24.
Those are alarming facts.
Another fact of that generation is teenagers don’t actually like talking on the phone to anyone. Dialing the phone number of a suicide prevention hotline is out of the question for many teenagers and children. But they do text. They’re comfortable with texting and
A non-profit organization aimed at reducing the number of teenage suicides is meeting kids where they spend a lot of their time. Crisis Text Line is a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week free service where children and teenagers can connect with a licensed counselor over text messages. It’s as simple as sending a text to “home”, or 741-741.
A volunteer counselor will text back, usually within a couple of minutes. The counselor will stay
with them for as long as the child or teenager will communicate.
Crisis Text Line has over 65,000 trained volunteer crisis counselors. When a text comes in,
one of those counselors will respond.
It’s very private, and the number will not show up on a phone bill. No one will know you’ve
reached out for help.
Teenagers can also contact crisis text line through a web chat window on a computer, or the “What’s App” messaging app.
Again, the number is 741-741, or ‘home’.
Crisis Text Line is always looking for licensed counselors willing to volunteer their time. And if you’re a parent, youth minister, coach or teacher, you can download flyers to put up in places where teenagers will see them.
It could be the one lifeline a teenager or child will grab onto.