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Talk and Text Lines

There are numerous talk and text lines for suicide prevention. These services are available to people in suicidal crisis or in need of emotional support. In addition to phone lines, emotional support is also widely available through text and chat services. Some services are offered for specific populations, such as youth, LGBTQ+, or veterans.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), is a national network of local call centers that provides free, 24/7 emotional support to those in suicidal crisis or in emotional distress. Callers are connected to counselors at the center nearest them. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also has text and chat functions.

The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 counseling via text (text HOME to 741-741). Trained Crisis Text Line counselors provide support for suicide risk and emotional distress including depression, anxiety, at-risk substance use, domestic violence, relationship problems, and issues at school. Local programs can designate their own keyword to help with branding, promotion, and tracking of use, but any message sent to the number will work.

The YouthLine is a free, confidential, and 24/7 support service for youth (call line: 1-877-968-8491; text: teen2teen to 839-863; chat: online chat; and email: Teen2Teen@LinesforLive.org). YouthLine is answered by trained youth volunteers from 4pm-10pm PT and by adults at all other times.

The Trevor Project provides 24/7 talk (1-866-488-7386), text (text START to 678-678), and chat lines for youth under age 25 who are LGBTQ+ and who are experiencing emotional distress or may be thinking about suicide.

TrevorSpace is an online peer-to-peer LGBTQ+ community, operated by the Trevor Project, which may help LGBTQ+ youth living in rural areas to connect with other people who are LGBTQ.

The Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860) is a 24/7 peer support service run by people who are transgender to serve other people who are transgender in crisis or who want to talk to someone else who is trans. Family and friends who need help supporting their trans loved one can access the family and friends hotline by calling the main line and asking specifically for the family and friends line.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline operates the Veterans Crisis Line; veterans can call the main 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) number and press 1 to be directed to the veteran-specific line.

Implementation Considerations

In addition to the national talk, text, and chat lines, many communities have their own suicide prevention hotlines or peer warmlines, which are hotlines staffed by individuals in recovery. Both national and local talk, text, and chat lines are particularly important in rural areas that are geographically distant from a medical or mental health facility and challenged by heightened stigma. By using these services, residents can access anonymous help in their homes through their phones and computers. These services do require access to technology, cell service, or broadband, which may be a barrier in rural areas.

Program Clearinghouse Examples