The Missouri Crisis Line Introduces a New Statewide 24-Hour Crisis Texting Service

— The Missouri Crisis Line and Deafline Missouri, programs of The L.E.A.D. Institute, are 24-hour, 7 day a week crisis line services that provide free, confidential mental health support, substance abuse information, referrals and crisis intervention for anyone at anytime. The crisis lines are staffed by trained individuals prepared to provide anyone needing someone to talk to, receive support from, and gain knowledge about resources in their specific Missouri community that can help.

Through funding provided by the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Mental Health, Division of Behavioral Health, the Missouri Crisis Line and Deafline Missouri are now expanding to offer a 24-hour, 7 day a week crisis texting service. This crisis texting service is the first statewide crisis texting service in the nation. The intent of providing crisis texting is to offer mobile access to people in need of support and resources. Individuals of any age can text for support about family troubles, domestic violence, substance abuse, homelessness, sexual assault, depression, bullying, child abuse, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and a wide variety of other problems.

“Offering a crisis texting service opens the door to helping many more individuals who are unable or even unwilling to call the crisis hotlines,” states Dr. Stephanie Logan, Executive Director of The L.E.A.D. Institute. “It allows any individual to text the service confidentially and gain information and guidance without disclosing their identity. The texting service is easy to use for all individuals and allows for more access and mobility.” The ability to text a service, rather than calling a service, is often less threatening to the individual texting.

The Missouri Crisis Texting Service is user-friendly and has trained individuals ready to receive any individuals texts through a secure, computer-based application. In order to initiate a text, an individual would text the word HAND to 839863 (standard texting rates apply). The service will be alerted that someone has texted the crisis line text message number. The texting service will then send the texter back a response letting he/she know the text has been received and the communications between the individual and the crisis texting service can begin.

Individuals wanting to call the Missouri Crisis Line may do so by dialing (573) 445-5035, or toll-free at (888) 761- HELP (4357). For d/Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, or Deaf/Blind individuals in crisis, which includes anyone needing support concerning that population, can call (800) 380-DEAF (3323). If you want to learn more about The L.E.A.D. Institute and other programs they offer, you can go to their website at www.deaflead.com and find out about more about their organization. You can also call L.E.A.D. at (573) 445-5005 V/TTY or through videophone at (573) 303-5604.

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