Every year, the Skoll Foundation honors entrepreneurs who have creative innovations to change the world. Perhaps there is no area in greater need of innovative new strategies than mental health.
One of the creative innovations that Skoll’s 2019 awards was recently given to Nancy Lublin, creator of the Crisis Text Line.
The idea is quite simple, it uses text messages to provide free counseling and remove the shame of seeking mental health services.
The Crisis Text Line has already received more than 1 million texts, serving an average of 4,000 people per day.
To make it even better, the service is free and largely reaches young people in low-income and underserved communities.
The system has crisis counselors who undergo a 34-hour training period and are supported by a full-time staff with master’s degrees in relevant fields.
The counselors use a virtual toolbox with suggestions for well-being strategies.
It includes a growing database of suggestions for questions to ask, and not to ask, for those people who may be in life-threatening situations.
Lublin says that roughly 25 of the text messages exchanges each day result in “active rescue” situations where real lives have been saved.
“Someone needed to build a hotline by text. So, we built it,” Lublin says in the video announcing the Skoll Award.
And so far, the results speak for themselves. An estimated 68 percent of those who text the Crisis Text Line end up agreeing to establish a health and safety plan,
Lublin says that they hope to expand their services to 15 countries by the end of 2021.
Mental Health is as important as physical health. That’s why we want to commend Nancy Lublin for creating this crisis text line. Kudos to you!