Anxiety. Depression. Isolation. Domestic violence. Substance abuse. Eating disorders. Financial stress. Grief. The mental health impacts of COVID-19 are intense — and will last longer than the virus itself.
We’re all afraid for the health of ourselves and our loved ones. It’s scary. And isolating. And lonely. Sometimes it feels like too much.
Crisis Text Line has come together with Shout UK, Kids Help Phone, and Spunout.ie, to create The Mental Health Fund.
This fund aims to support the work of each organization as they grow to meet the increased demand of people in pain.
Here’s more about how these services help people in pain:
Each of these organizations provides crisis intervention via text message, 24/7. If it's a crisis to you, it's a crisis to us. No judgements. No fees. No app to download.
These organizations recruit, train, and support volunteers who comfort texters struggling to cope with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, domestic violence, eating disorders, or other mental health challenges. Since 2013, these 4 organizations have trained over 30,000 volunteers and exchanged over 150 million messages by text with people in pain.
Due to COVID-19, in March these organizations have experienced a collective 40% increase in volume.
The data from these crisis lines’ conversations demonstrates the mental health impact of this pandemic:
- Anxiety is the top issue right now. 78% of conversations indicate anxiety. Financial stress is a large portion of this anxiety.
- Impoverished people are in acute pain. Currently 32% of texters in the USA report their household income is under $20,000 annually.
- Quarantines are causing hardship. We’re seeing 25% more sexual abuse conversations. Also domestic violence and substance abuse are on the rise.
Crisis intervention via text is filling a gap in the mental health care system, especially for people who may find it difficult or expensive to access other care. Our texters are largely under the age of 25, people of color, and those who identify as LGBTQ+.
These hotlines are crisis intervention and a gateway to long term care. It's often the first time someone has shared their pain as 68% of texters say they texted something to us that they have never shared with another human being.
Here’s how you can help:
If you are in a position to contribute, we hope you will donate today. No dollar amount is too small. 100% of donations (less the payment processing fee) will go directly to these organizations as they continue to support texters in pain from the mental and behavioral impact of COVID-19.
This service harnesses the power of skilled volunteers for maximum efficiency. This ensures that donations are spent directly on programs–making sure they maximize efforts reaching and supporting texters. Most of the expense is for “Supervisors”--full time employees with a masters degree in a relevant field. They support our trained Crisis Volunteers on the platform so that we ensure texters receive top quality care and that our volunteers never feel alone.
If you need support, please reach out to your local text line using the information below. If it's a crisis to you, it's a crisis to us.
USA: Text HOME to 741741
UK: Text SHOUT to 85258
Canada: Text CONNECT to 686868 or 741741
Ireland: Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280
In connection with this campaign, GoFundMe.org has been designated as an agent for receipt of contributions to The Mental Health Fund, consisting of Crisis Text Line, Shout UK, Kids Help Phone, and Spunout.ie. Because these charities may issue donation receipts based on residency of the donor, please know that your information will be delivered directly to the charities comprising the Mental Health Fund.
Crisis Text line is so grateful for your support and will provide a receipt for donations made from within the US. Canadian donors requesting a donation receipt can reach out to [email redacted].
- Christopher Sicam
- Violet Sinclair
- Harvey Charles Koch, Sr.
- Otowa Kanda