As part of its continued efforts to help address the mental health needs of the Tacoma community, the City of Tacoma has partnered with Crisis Text Line, a not-for-profit organization that provides free crisis intervention via SMS text message to people in crisis. Although individual mobile phone usage rates may apply, the organization’s services are available at no charge, via SMS text message, 24 hours a day, every day. Helping to raise awareness of this free service, the City has put up new “Crisis Counseling – Crisis Text Line – Text HEAL to 741741” signage on East 34th Street Bridge in Tacoma.
“We care deeply about our community members,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Tacoma was the very first city in Washington state to enter into this type of partnership with Crisis Text Line, which allows live, trained counselors to rapidly analyze – using texted keywords – the various situations that individuals may be experiencing.”
Based on the keywords they see over text messages, Crisis Text Line counselors identify how to best address the individual needs of those in crisis. Every texter is connected by Crisis Text Line with a live crisis counselor trained to bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem-solving. Crisis Text Line also collects data which will be used to inform future efforts.
The city uses special tax revenue to provide services that support mental health and substance use disorder services to Tacoma residents. More information about Crisis Text Line is available at crisistextline.org. Information about the City’s Neighborhood and Community Services Department is available at cityoftacoma.org/NCS.