SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Whether you're a local student, a commuter taking the train into work, or a concerned parent, many have been touched by suicides at Caltrain in the Bay Area. Today, Crisis Text Line, the national not-for-profit that provides free, 24/7 crisis support via SMS, launches an array of local partnerships in the Bay Area - including Caltrain.
Caltrain will be adding signage and information to stations urging people to text 741741 for crisis support. Sally Longyear, a Palo Alto parent whose daughter, Sarah Longyear, died by suicide at Caltrain in April, supports Crisis Text Line. "If my daughter had known about Crisis Text Line she might be here today," said Sally Longyear. "If just one life is saved by adding these signs, it will be worth it."
In 2013, serial social entrepreneur Nancy Lublin founded Crisis Text Line. Since then, they've exchanged over 26 million messages with people in crisis, creating the largest real-time mental health data set. The organization has garnered support from tech giants like Reid Hoffman, Steve Ballmer, Melinda Gates, and the Omidyar Network.
BAY AREA DATA
To date, Crisis Text Line has already handled over 25,000 conversations with people in crisis in the Bay Area. Our Bay Area data shows 75% of texters are under 25 years old, and "school" is the #1 location mentioned by suicidal texters. "Mental health stigma continues to be a barrier for individuals and families to seek needed care. As we all know, millions of people use social media, and text message can be a private, accessible way to receive support," said Barbara Garcia, Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "Crisis Text Line will improve access to care in times of extreme stress and also help identify trends to enrich our understanding of the population that uses this new intervention."
BAY AREA PARTNERS
Crisis Text Line Bay Area partners include:
- City of San Francisco
- Golden Gate Bridge District
- San Francisco Giants
- Peet's Coffee
- Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety
- Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department
- Project Safety Net
- Children's Health Council
- Adolescent Counseling Services
These partners are in addition to Crisis Text Line's national corporate partners based in the Bay Area, including YouTube, Facebook, After School, Twilio, and Speck Products.
BAY AREA FUNDING
Crisis Text Line's Bay Area efforts are supported by a grant from The Battery's philanthropic branch, Battery Powered. "Crisis Text Line is a fast-moving, innovative organization that is disrupting the mental health sector," said Michael Birch, Founder of The Battery. "We were blown away by their data and how it can inform Bay Area policy, parents and schools."
Crisis Text Line has hired Palo Alto native Libby Craig to lead these efforts. Craig attended Gunn High School during its first suicide cluster in 2009. "I'm honored to grow Crisis Text Line in my home town, where I saw peers die by suicide," said Craig. "We all know 911 for crime and emergency. I'm hoping 741741 will be known across the Bay Area for mental health crises."
- If you're in crisis, text BAY to 741741 for crisis support in the Bay Area.
- Become a volunteer Crisis Counselor at crisistextline.org/volunteer.
See what more Bay Area leaders are saying at crisistextline.org/media/baypress
SOURCE Crisis Text Line