THRIVE Lifeline

Thriving Harnesses Respect, Inclusion, and Vested Empathy: A crisis text line for marginalized individuals in STEM

T
hriving Harnesses Respect, Inclusion, and Vested Empathy. THRIVE Lifeline is a grassroots response to COVID-19, organized by experienced crisis managers who personally understand the significance of displacement, isolation, and financial loss, especially for marginalized individuals in STEM.

In early March 2020, students and scientists around the US became displaced from their universities and labs, as campuses shut down and turned to online education amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, our country has begun to face deepening and ongoing trauma as a result of police brutality, the loss of Black lives, and the effects of systemic racism and injustice.

Amid a crisis of this scale, many marginalized individuals face greater personal crises, including being sent to unsupportive and/or dangerous home environments, greater health risks, job, food, and home insecurity, and the inability to access what may be their only safe community.

Recognizing the particular vulnerabilities within our communities and the breadth of needs at this time, THRIVE Lifeline began as a grassroots crisis text line that targets marginalized people in STEM, or STEM-adjacent, but remains accessible to all who need it.

In three months, with no paid advertising, THRIVE hosted 350 interactions with students, professionals, and individuals from every walk of life who have been referred to us by people who care about them. Our team of 9 volunteers fields calls from 4 countries, and across 6 time zones, operating almost 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Our calls range from general identity-based support to acute crisis intervention. Though we each live scattered across the US, we manage this level of response from a single burner phone and a personal SMS-mirroring app.

Our crisis responders share that, for them, supporting this crisis line has been the single-most impactful response directed at the service of people who are at the intersections of marginalized identities and STEM.

As stay at home orders are lifted and volunteer hours are reduced, we face the potential of having to drastically reduce the provision of this vital resource. Our primary concern is sustaining judgment-free, personalized response from empathetic crisis responders who 'get' what our callers are going through.

In order to sustain this crisis text line, we must scale up volunteer recruitment and gain access to a professional SMS platform that can maintain scores of users. We further recognize that as we add volunteers, our call volume will correspondingly increase.

This is where you come in! We plan an initial up-scaling that will happen in 2 phases: 

--Phase 1: Train 20 suicide interveners; Train 40+ suicide-alert crisis responders; Establish infrastructure; Develop resources for this increased volunteer community; Attain 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

--Phase 2: Partner with STEM organizations to advertise this line to a greater number of individuals who need support; Offer crisis management and training as a DEI resource.

In order to complete Phase 1, we need:
$25,000 to purchase and integrate an SMS messaging application; Develop: THRIVE website, and web resources
$20,000 for high quality suicide intervention training of new volunteers,
$15,000 for data analysis and resource development that will target the training of our suicide-alert crisis responders

Thank you for your commitment during this very crucial time as we continue to provide support to our underserved communities.

Donations

  • Jess Norman 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • MARYBETH ARCODIA 
    • $25 
    • 1 mo
  • K Ryder Fox 
    • $500 
    • 1 mo
  • Abeda Alam 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos

Organizer

Ryder Fox 
Organizer
Miami, FL
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