For someone in the midst of a mental health crisis, help can be right at your fingertips. With the help of the Crisis Text Line, the nation’s largest text-based crisis intervention service, help is just a text away.
Launched in 2013, the Crisis Text Line is a free national service, available 24/7. Individuals in crisis in our area can text “REACH” to 741 741 and be connected with a live trained volunteer Crisis Counselor who can provide calming support needed for someone in their moment of crisis. Spanish-speaking Crisis Counselors were added in 2022.
KidsMatter provides funding for the service and the key word “REACH” in DuPage County in collaboration with the DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team and with support from other key partners. Texting the key word “REACH” to 741 741 is unique to DuPage County and allows us to gather important data about the mental health issues that residents in DuPage County are facing. The data is all anonymous and de-identified.
In 2022, the Crisis Text Line, utilizing the word “REACH,” had 519 conversations. Data indicated that the tool was utilized daily with the top highest months being May, February and September. Monday (18%) was the day of the week that it was used the most followed by weekends. Usage was highest between 12AM- 2AM, secondarily 2-4PM. Teens ages 14-17 were 42% of the users. Identified key issues were related to school, relationships, anxiety/stress, or depression/sadness. In 2022, at least nine conversations resulted in de-escalation of suicide.
Notably, “it is Illinois policy that a school district who issues an identification card to pupils in grades 7 through 12, shall provide contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988), the Crisis Text Line (Text “REACH” to 741 741), and a local suicide prevention hotline (DuPage County Health Dept. Crisis Line: Call 630-627-1700 and Safe 2 Help: Text 72332) on the identification card. This law also applies to Illinois public and private colleges who issue student ID cards.” DuPage PLT, Suicide Prevention – Student ID’s.
Information about the Crisis Text Line on the back of Student ID cards is a ready reference for someone in need and can be lifesaving. Facing a national youth mental health crisis, nine states are helping to save students’ lives by printing the Crisis Text Line on the back of student ID cards. These states include Delaware, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Washington, Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas, and California.
At the end of a person’s conversation, users can agree to provide a survey accessing their experience.
One anonymous user indicated, “My conversation was amazingly helpful. When I was feeling like I might have a panic attack, my counselor listened, gave me breathing exercises and calm relaxing music and podcasts. She was so helpful … thanks for saving my life!”
For more information on the Crisis Text Line, visit KidsMatter2us.org.