Crisis Text Line (CTL), the largest provider of text-based crisis intervention services in the U.S., has answered nearly 7 million conversations since its inception in 2013. The study’s objective was to assess texter’s perceptions of the effectiveness of CTL crisis interventions.
Survey data completed by 85,877 texters linked to volunteer crisis counselor (CC) reports from October 12, 2017, to October 11, 2018 were analyzed. The relationship of several effectiveness measures with texters’ demographic and psychosocial characteristics, frequency of CTL usage, and texters’ perceptions of engagement with their CCs was examined using a series of logistic regression analyses.
By the end of the text-based conversation, nearly 90% of suicidal texters reported that the conversation was helpful, and nearly half reported being less suicidal.
Our study offers evidence for CTL’s perceived effectiveness. These findings are of critical importance in light of the launch of a nationwide three-digit number (988) for suicide prevention and mental health crisis supports in the U.S., which will include texting.