Sometimes, they need someone to take them from a “hot” moment to a calmer state.
“You could think of us as a mental health emergency room,” says Dena Trujillo, interim chief executive officer at Crisis Text Line and a board member for about six years. Their crisis counselors have had 5 million conversations with people since the service launched in August 2013, directly and through a wide array of partnerships. “People come to us with anxiety, isolation, trauma, suicide ideation. We handle the entire range. When people come to us, we have a triage system in place, to get to people that are in the highest and most significant need faster.”
Over the past year, the top issues they’ve fielded from all their sources included depression, stress, relationships and school. The New York-based organization helps create individually tailored safety plans and de-escalates situations through a platform – texting – that makes it easier for people of all ages to reach out safely.
“Xbox Live has 100 million monthly active users,” says Jason Coon, head ofsafety for Xbox. “If you get that many people gathered anywhere, you’re going to have some people who are in crisis.”
In November, the Xbox Safety Team formalized a support path called点击拨打安全. When someone reaches out to customer support with a safety concern – such as online harassment – that is not otherwise addressed through Xbox’s direct reporting system, they can request a callback, and a customer service agent will call them back to investigate further. These customer support agents have been trained on how to handle these situations and when to hand off to the Xbox Safety Team.
These efforts run parallel to the partnership with the Crisis Text Line, which can pick up on situations that go beyond Xbox.
浣熊说：“危机文本线已经填补了差距，”浣熊说。“它是一个需要未满足的需求，这是在情绪危机中的人们，在Xbox上表达它并没有得到他们所需要的帮助 - 除非它一直到迫在眉睫的威胁的水平。在这种危机的范围上，我们只能在极端的极端帮助。我们现在拥有一个更广泛的表面积，将用户连接到他们需要的帮助，以及进一步赋予我们的代理商来协助跨越危机问题。“
Since Xbox began referring people to Crisis Text Line, Trujillo says the organization’s crisis counselors have handled 5,383 conversations from 2,285 U.S.-based texters who arrive through texting keywords specific to Xbox (LISTEN, LOVE or PAUSE), with 62% of them saying they shared something in those chats they never shared with anyone else before. Ninety percent of those texters found the conversations helpful.
危机辅导员能够支付的信息rmation they gather from the people they help, to understand dynamics or dimensions of problems better.
“We knew that data would be front and center to what we did from the beginning,” says danah boyd, a Microsoft partner researcher who has been on the board of Crisis Text Line since it began eight years ago and who is now its chairperson.
They can see what hours people reach out when they’re struggling, what kinds of topics they’re talking about. And from that, they can better streamline available resources – such as scheduling more counselors at certain times.
Data also helps crisis counselors learn from each other, boyd says, which translates to improving their care of people in crisis and “helping the field as a whole grow so that everyone who is passionate about mental health can better serve people in need.”
大部分的Xbox短信谁使用服务self-identify as age 24 or younger (almost 83%) and more than half consider themselves LGBTQ+.
When she was a young queer teenager in the 1990s, boyd says she sought support online.
“I often think of the internet as my saving grace,” says boyd. “I went back in as a researcher trying to understand these communities. What I learned was that queer kids were facing hate and harassment and they were still going online, crying out for help. I relish the ability for the internet to connect people when they need help, when they need support.”
As a researcher studying gaming culture and gamers, boyd has seen communities built from that need to find and connect with like-minded people.
“The point is to partner with folks who have that mental health expertise and knowledge,” she says. “The beauty of technology is that it can be a tool in connecting the dots in ways that were not otherwise available. Crisis Text Line connects people. In a moment when someone is struggling and does not have the services they need, they can reach trained counselors who want to help. It’s joyous to be a part of a project where technology and people can work together to serve those facing their darkest moments.”
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Text HOME to 741741 or useFacebook Messenger.在危机文本线上与危机辅导员联系。
All images courtesy of Crisis Text Line.