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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Common Grounds links up with Crisis Text Line to help youths

Common Ground has entered into a formal partnership with Crisis Text Line, Inc. an organization that serves young people in crisis, providing them access to free, around-the-clock emotional support and information they need via the medium they already use and trust:  text.  
Crisis Text Line, founded by DoSomething.org CEO Nancy Lublin, is expanding its services to select cities across the country with the aim of offering nationwide service in 2014.  

Common Ground was chosen to participate because of the success and expertise of its Crisis Telephone Line, online Crisis Text platform and CTL specialists, addressing more than 50,000 calls in 2012.  
 
Lisa Turbeville, manager of Common Ground’s Crisis Telephone Line, said the partnership with Crisis Text Line, Inc. was a natural next step in expanding the services of the agency’s Online Crisis Text program.   

“We are constantly seeking innovative ways to provide support to our community, close the gaps and link people to services,” said Turbeville. “We’ve wanted to provide Crisis Chat and Text services for several years. It gives us the opportunity to reach out to those we may not otherwise get to connect with.”

The project addresses the need for teens to be able to reach out for help via text and receive it (also via text) from trained professionals.  Many teens find it difficult to communicate about their feelings in a face to face situation.  But now the ability to talk electronically — either online or by texting —has become a way for teens to share what’s going on in their lives and reach out for help. 

“We see Crisis Text and Chat services as a vital piece to help people move from crisis to hope and we are honored to work with Crisis Text Line, Inc. to provide these much needed services to our community, state and across the country,” said Turbeville.
 
Instead of setting up a staff of in-house responders, DoSomething.org is collaborating with partner organizations to actually provide the crisis counseling. Trained specialists will respond to teens, whether they need a supportive listener, resources or help planning how to stay safe and healthy.
 
By getting as many partners onboard as possible, information will be at the fingertips of counselors more quickly in those critical moments when someone needs help immediately.

 How it works: 

·         A teen texts “hello” to 741741 anywhere, anytime;
·         A live, trained specialist receives the text and responds quickly;
·         The specialist helps the teen stay safe and healthy with effective, secure counseling and referrals through text message using CTL’s platform.

In anticipation of the increased call/text volume, Common Ground is looking for community members who are interested in the experience of volunteering on the Crisis Telephone line and/or the Crisis Chat/Text line. Free, comprehensive training is provided. For more information about volunteering, call Cheryl Ross at (248) 451-2614.