Dear Crisis Counselors,
America is hurting. Grappling with centuries of racial injustice. Black Americans are feeling tired, angry, full of grief, and at risk. This week we’ve seen that pain reach a tipping point in our communities and in our texter conversations. Mentions of “Black”, “racism”, and “protests” have increased 10% in our conversations in the last 2 days.
If America was a texter, I’d say to her, “It sounds like you’re feeling [hurt, angry, outraged, anxious, exhausted, overwhelmed, fed up, divided]. I’m here to listen.”
Crisis Text Line is here to listen. We help people move from a hot moment to a cool calm. It’s an important role we play–especially as so many of our texters are young, poor, and/or marginalized. (We’re actively working with our partners to make sure people know that 741741 is here for them 24/7. We got you, America.)
As we move through this difficult moment as a country, we want to remind you what Crisis Text Line staff and CCs are committed to–more than just a statement of what we care about, we want to tell you what we’re doing:
A safe and inclusive community. It’s written right into our Code of Conduct and community guidelines — we treat everyone in our community with respect. Hate will never be tolerated here.
Self-care. What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many names to list here are not one-off incidents. The events of the past weeks, months, and years have been emotionally draining, especially for our Black community. Your pain is valid and you matter.
Resources. We’ve added several resources in the Toolbox on the Platform for texters in pain, and for allies looking for ways to be supportive. We’ve also added resources for texters living in cities where demonstrations are happening to ensure texter safety. (Our data shows that cities with demonstrations are experiencing more anxiety right now.)
- Intention. Talking about race is difficult, but discussions about race are not a debate; it’s an opportunity to listen and learn. Systematic oppression and inequality are not right! We’re here to give our CCs and texters a safe space. Some well-intentioned people in this community are going to make mistakes. You and your fellow CCs might feel tired, frustrated, powerless, and/or angry. Treat each other with the same empathy and non-judgment we use with our texters. (Oh! If only the whole world behaved like our kind CC community!)
- High-quality service. Our contribution to social and racial justice permeates our service. Providing 24/7 free crisis counseling ensures that people in pain have access to high-quality crisis mental health support.
This is our commitment. This is our mission – to show up for all texters, to listen to their pain, to be part of the solution. We know you share that passion too. See ya soon.
Nancy and the Crisis Text Line staff