How does Crisis Text Line work? Here's what happens when you text 686868 in Canada.
Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via the medium people already use and trust: text. Here’s how it works:
Text HOME to 686868 from Canada, anytime, about any type of crisis.
A live, trained Crisis Responder receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform.
The volunteer Crisis Responder will help you move from a hot moment to a cool calm.
First, you’re in crisis. That doesn’t just mean suicide: it’s any painful emotion for which you need support. You text us at 686868.
Your opening message can say anything: The opt-in words you see advertised ("HELLO," "START") just help us know where people are learning about us!
The first two responses are automated. They tell you that you're being connected with a Crisis Counselor, and invite you to share a bit more.
The Crisis Counselor is a trained volunteer, not a professional. They can provide support, but not medical advice.
It usually takes less than five minutes to connect you with a Crisis Counselor. (It may take longer during high-traffic times).
When you’ve reached a Crisis Counselor, they’ll introduce themselves, reflect on what you’ve said, and invite you to share at your own pace.
You’ll then text back and forth with the Crisis Responder. You never have to share anything you don’t want to.
The Crisis Responder will help you sort through your feelings by asking questions, empathizing, and actively listening.
The conversation typically ends when you and the Crisis Responder both feel comfortable deciding that you’re in a “cool,” safe place.
After the conversation, you’ll receive an optional survey about your experience. This helps us help you and others like you!
The goal of any conversation is to get you to a calm, safe place.
Sometimes that means providing you with a referral to further help, and sometimes it just means being there and listening.