Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Crisis Text Line Serving Those In Need



Columbus, OH – With the goal of increasing awareness of the Crisis Text Line and the statewide "4HOPE" keyword, the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities (OACBHA), in coordination with the Ohio Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Developmental Disabilities have been working with local communities to share information and resources about Crisis Text Line.

Individuals can access the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741. Crisis Text Line, is a free, confidential 24/7 resource for anyone in need of help. It serves all ages. An individual may text the keyword 4HOPE to 741741 and expect a reply from a trained Crisis Counselor within five minutes. The text message is confidential, anonymous, and secure.

State and local partners have promoted Crisis Text Line in a number of ways across Ohio communities: with billboards; flyers, handouts, and give-aways in schools; letters to the editor of local newspapers; connections with local law enforcement; radio interviews; and a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign that is underway now. As of January 10, 2017, these advertisements have appeared over 2.7 million times on Facebook and Instagram feeds and were seen by nearly 750,000 users. This social media will last through January 31, 2017.

"We are super pumped to offer our service for free to Ohioans as well as cities, states and orgs across the country. Instead of spending taxpayer money on tech, text fees, or labor, Ohio can use our service for free" says Nancy Lublin, CEO and founder of Crisis Text Line.

"Ohio is committed to bringing mental illness out of the shadows and getting citizens who are experiencing crisis due to mental illness access to the immediate help they need," said Tracy Plouck, Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. "We are grateful to Governor John Kasich and members of the state legislature for recognizing a need and providing resources to help strengthen existing efforts around suicide prevention. We are also thankful for our forward-thinking partners in Stark County who laid the successful framework for our statewide Crisis Text Line."

"When we piloted the project two years ago, it made sense to connect community members to needed resources on a platform they are comfortable using–especially young people who may not make a phone call to get help," said Executive Director John Aller of Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery. "While not every one of us would text for support about our pain and struggles, it makes all the difference for those who do. Since we launched Crisis Text Line, there have been four live rescues in our area. We will absolutely continue to promote this service in Stark County to complement traditional crisis resources."

"Every community across Ohio should be promoting and using this valuable tool," said Mircea Handru, Executive Director of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky, and Wyandot Counties. "It can save lives."

Crisis Text Line promotional efforts have been spearheaded by the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities. OACBHA CEO Cheri L. Walter shared, "As we work together to address mental illness and Ohio's opiate epidemic, the Crisis Text Line and the 4HOPE keyword is one more tool in the toolbox to help Ohioans in need."

Crisis Text Line resources and information will continually be shared with communities and organizations striving to support individuals in crisis utilizing a platform that is proven to be safe and effective. This resource will continue to help Ohioans in crises to "bring hot moments to cool calms."

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