Crisis Text Line has already been hugely successful in the US and Canada.
Crisis Text Line, the non-profit service that allows people in the midst of mental health crises or who just need to talk to text rather than have to speak on the phone, is taking its first step abroad by expanding to the UK as “Shout.”
This move was made possible with a generous grant from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The Duke of Cambridge, also known as Prince William, made a three-minute video promoting the service and encouraged UK residents to sign up as volunteers.
“As texting is private and silent, it opens up a whole new way to find help. It provides instant support. You can have a conversation anywhere, at any time ― at school, at home, on the bus, anywhere,” he says in the video. “I am incredibly excited to be launching this service knowing it has the potential to reach thousands of vulnerable people every day.”
According to a statement made by Crisis Text Line CEO Nancy Lublin, all four members of the royal family visited the Shout offices multiple times, “meeting with staff and volunteers to see firsthand how the service and platform function.”
The service came to Canada in 2018 and has been a success there as well as in the U.S., where they recently reached their 100 millionth text milestone.
To celebrate, Crisis Text Line created Crisis Trends―a data visualization tool that allows anyone to explore the mass amounts of data they collected from their many conversations. Users can see which subjects are most common in which U.S. state (plus Puerto Rico), what time of day and day of the week people text in for which issue, and how trends have changed over time.
After the UK, Crisis Text Line plans to expand to Ireland, Australia and South Africa this year, followed by Latin America in 2020. Lublin’s goal for the service, grown out of her own habit of giving support and advice to people who need it, is to expand across the globe and improve mental health for all people.
“We are proud of the work Crisis Text Line and our crisis counselors have done in the United States to ease the pain of Americans,” she said in a statement. “If other world leaders will follow the lead of Prince William, together, we can end this epidemic of emotional crisis.”