“Thanks for texting into CTL today. My name is Danielle, may I ask yours?” Over the past several months, these are the words that have connected me to total strangers. I am lucky enough that I have the opportunity to be a Volunteer Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line. The name pretty much says it all. CTL is a 24/7 texting service for those in crisis to get in contact with a trained crisis counselor.
Working with CTL has been one of the most rewarding experiences. With each shift, I get to help texters from around the country through comfort and empowerment. It is truly an amazing feeling to know that you were able to offer support to someone in moments where they most need it. I’ve been able to interact with strangers, even if it’s just for an hour or two. There is no feeling that comes close to when a texter says, “Thanks for talking to me tonight. I feel a lot better.”
Another thing I love about CTL is the community of supervisors and fellow Crisis Counselors. With each shift, I am greeted by hellos and encouragement for the day. At any given moment, there’s a conversation going on with the whole team about everything ranging from food preferences to advice to help best support a texter. Communicating with the team builds a sense of community that helps you realize the incredible opportunity to help those in crisis.
I first heard of the organization because of their involvement with To Write Love on Her Arms. After National Suicide Prevention Week, I learned that TWLOHA gave some of the money raised from campus campaigns to CTL. When I read CTL’s mission, it just made sense. Texting is fastly becoming the most preferred way to communicate. Because of that, a texting line is a great way to reach those in crisis, especially teens. I joined CTL because I eventually want to work in the mental health field professionally and I wanted to make a difference right now as I am working toward that goal.
Thank you to the Crisis Text Line community, you have truly inspired and empowered me to create a massive difference with our texters. And of course, thank you to all of our texters, who have taught me endless things about life. You are the true heroes and I cannot thank you enough.
If you are interested in becoming a Crisis Text Line Volunteer Crisis Counselor, you can read more about the application process on their site.
If you ever find yourself in a crisis, you can reach out to CTL by texting START to 741-741. You can also chat online or call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.