Mental health support on demand
Melinda Gates looks at a computer at Crisis Text Line with founder Nancy Lublin

Mental Health support on demand

Crisis Text Line

There is an urgent and growing need to respond to the mental health of young people.

Suicide rates have increased in the last decade, doubling for young women ages 15-24 and tripling for girls ages 10-14 in the United States.

What's behind this reported increase and how do we provide immediate support for families in crisis?

Our analysis suggests people in crisis, especially youth, need immediate access to support, through platforms with which they are conversant and comfortable. Crisis Text Line ("CTL") is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. CTL meets young people where they are – on their phone – and immediately pairs them with a trained Crisis Counselor, to reduce the urgent threat of self-harm and guide them to create a plan for ongoing health and safety.

66 percent of the people who text CTL share something with their Crisis Counselor that they’ve never told anyone else. CTL has discovered that text-based support is extremely effective in crisis counseling, because rapport is created quickly and anonymously.

In Crisis Text Line, we invested in both an exciting technology solution, and a model way to design for people seeking help.

Crisis Text Line