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New York Times Crisis Text Line Article Demonstrates Public’s Interest in the Service

The February 4, 2014 The New York Times Crisis Text Line article describes the text-based crisis counseling service and how it better serves youth in an increasingly non-verbal world.

The article, titled “In Texting Era, Crisis Hotlines Put Help at Youths’ Fingertips,” by Leslie Kaufman, vaguely describes an real chat taken by Crisis Text Line, a subsidiary of DoSomething.org. The situation is one in which a young female caller is distressed from gender identification issues, and tells the specialists that her family has disowned her because of her expressed desire to be a male.

The article breaks out the numerous benefits to texting, including: the ability for counselors to take multiple text sessions, seamless reopening of a text session after it has been interrupted, and the ability to text in public without privacy concerns. It also talks about how text is better at reaching youths, many of whom do not require lengthy rapport-building before disclosing suicidal or other severe tendencies. This is usually the case with phone crisis counseling, according to the article.

Ron White, chief program officer for Samaritans Inc., commented on this matter in the article, stating: “On the phone there is sometime building a rapport,” he said, “but young people on text tend to get right to the point.”

To demonstrate how text clients are more open with specialists, the article excerpts text that is presumably from a real text session:

“He won’t stop raping me. It is my dad. He told me not to tell anyone. Are U there?”

Nancy Lublin, the founder of the Crisis Text Line, was the main interview subject for the article. Although Lublin did grant The Times access to text transcripts, citing confidentiality concerns, she was able to show them text data and transcripts that were stripped of identifying information.

Interestingly, the article refers to crisis texting as a “nascent” technology. Now that This reflects the publics view of crisis text as an innovative and burgeoning new service that people come to expect in the digital age. Now that crisis intervention is reaching large new populations, the industry is seeing a re-introduction to the national community. As new crisis intervention technologies continue to mature, the industry may see more publicity going forward.

Aaron Blackledge was one of the pioneers of Crisis Chat, and helped to establish the service in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – the second city in the United States to host the service. Aaron went on to help help numerous cities throughout the nation, as well. Also, For questions about text or chat, or to learn more, contact Aaron today.