Recently a friend of mine tagged me in an instagram post that mentioned CTL and there were over 20 comments with questions and concerns that I happily answered, and I thought I’d try to be helpful and address some of these issues here as well.
"Is it a real person I’m texting with?" YES! When you first text the line, an automated message will respond with some quick info about the text line, and then you will be transferred to a Certified Crisis Counselor. These people have gone through a rigorous, multi-stage application process and 35 hours of intense training before we talk with the people texting in.
"I texted in, but no one is texting me back!" Unfortunately there are certain times of day, especially late at night, or after a social media post has gone viral, where your wait time might be a bit longer. This doesn’t mean you're not in a “real” crisis or that you are unimportant to us, we will get to your conversation as soon as we can. There have also been some technical issues on our side of things recently that might have played a part in why you didn’t get a text back in a timely manner or one at all.
"Who can use CTL?" If you’re in the USA you can text us for free (If your cell phone plan is with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon, texts to our short code, 741741 are free of charge. If you have a plan with a different carrier, it works just like texting a friend: standard text message rates apply.)
"What do you define as a crisis?" If it’s a crisis to you, it’s a crisis to us.
"Will you call the cops right away if I tell you I’m suicidal?" Nope! Less than 1% of CTL conversations end with us calling the police. I have personally texted with dozens of texters feeling suicidal or struggling with self harm and have never needed to involve the police.
Have any questions of your own? Feel free to DM me or comment and I’ll do my best to respond. CLT also has a FAQ page on their website, crisistextline.org/faq