Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that these FAQs are for our service in Australia. For more information about Crisis Text Line® outside Australia, please visit crisistextline.org.
HOW DOES CRISIS TEXT LINE WORK?
We are rolling out our service in Australia in 2019 and will be promoting our short code later in the year. Here’s how it works:
- You text us when in crisis, available 24/7.
- A live, trained Crisis Counsellor receives the text and responds quickly.
- The Crisis Counsellor helps you move from a hot moment to a cool calm to stay safe and healthy using effective active listening and suggested signposts - all through text message, using Crisis Text Line’s secure platform.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "MOVE FROM A HOT MOMENT TO A COOL CALM?"
Our Crisis Counsellors bring texters "from a hot moment to a cool calm" using techniques in empathetic listening. Once they’ve built rapport and trust, explored the issues, and established the texter's goal, they collaboratively problem-solve to help the texter come up with a plan to stay safe.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I TEXT IN?
You’ll receive an automated text asking you what your crisis is. Within minutes, a live trained Crisis Counsellor will answer your text. They will help you out of your moment of crisis and work with you to create a plan to continue to feel better.
IS CRISIS TEXT LINE CONFIDENTIAL?
Yes. Crisis Counsellors only know what texters share with them, and that information stays between you, unless sharing it with emergency services is absolutely necessary for your safety. We take your confidentiality seriously.
HOW MUCH DOES CRISIS TEXT LINE COST?
We do not charge texters. Billing by your mobile provider works just like texting a friend: standard text message rates may apply.
CAN I TEXT IN MORE THAN ONCE?
You can text in again if you are experiencing a crisis. However, you should not feel dependent on us. Crisis Text Line® is not a replacement for long-term counseling, in-person therapy, or a friend.
IS THERE A CHARACTER LIMIT WHEN TEXTING CRISIS TEXT LINE?
Yes, our system is only able to process 160 characters in one message.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A TEXTER IS IN IMMINENT RISK OF SUICIDE?
In cases when a texter is in immediate danger of suicide or homicide, as determined by a risk assessment by the Crisis Counsellor and Supervisor, our first step is to try to work with the texter to form a safety plan. If the texter is unable to plan for their own safety, the Supervisor may contact emergency services, who may dispatch somebody to check on your safety.
IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY TO REACH CRISIS TEXT LINE BESIDES TEXT? We are not yet available on messaging apps in Australia. We apologise for any inconvenience and invite you to use SMS to reach a Crisis Counsellor.
HOW CAN I BECOME A VOLUNTEER?
We're going to start accepting applications soon! In the meantime, check out what it takes to become a Crisis Counsellor.
ARE VOLUNTEERS SUPERVISED?
Yes. Our experienced, full-time staff Supervisors oversee and assist our volunteers on the platform.
WHAT ISSUES DO YOU TRACK? CAN YOU ADD MORE?
See the issues we track in the US at www.crisistrends.org. We plan on adding international data to these dashboards in 2019. If you’re a researcher or practitioner with interest in another issue, submit your suggestion in the form at the bottom of www.crisistrends.org.