741741 — To be seen

A few years ago, Nancy Lublin discovered something obvious.

Nancy was the CEO of Dosomething.org, the largest teenage charity in the world.

In order to keep up with its members, Dosomething shifted their communications from email to texting (yes, that’s obvious, but that’s not what she discovered).

Monitoring the effectiveness of the texts, she realized that even though the millions of texts they were sending were clearly announcements, not personal notes, kids were texting back.

Texting is such a personal medium that it’s easy to see how the natural thing to do with an incoming text sent with permission is to write back.

Within days, Nancy was seeing that many of the return texts were from kids in trouble. Kids who were being abused, or suffering with mental issues. People who needed to be seen.

And so, Crisis Text Line was born. Thousands of trained volunteers in the US (741741), Canada (686868) and the UK (85258) fielding millions of text messages from people who need to be seen and heard. Not just teens.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that they’ve saved thousands of lives.

CTL is running a fundraiser, but that’s not why I’m posting this today. I’m posting it because someone you know might need the number.

Humans need to be seen and heard. And when we’re in crisis, the privacy and speed of a text is magical.

741741. Use it wisely. Spread the word.