WILMINGTON — Data from a new crisis texting service aimed at connecting people to quick help in difficult situation shows more than 200 “saves” since Ohioans started learning about its availability over the past few months.
Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties (MHRS) joined other mental health and addiction services boards across the state earlier this month to promote the Crisis Text Line. The data, discussed at a recent Behavioral Health Conference in Columbus, showed 243 “saves” of people who had texted and shared they were having suicidal thoughts or planned to harm themselves.
Since the Crisis Text Line was piloted in Stark County three years ago, it has been accessed by 15,546 Ohioans, according to information provided by crisistrends.org, which collects data on the Crisis Text Line’s use.
Anyone can access the service at any time of day by texting “4hope” to 741741. They will then be connected with a trained worker who can help. Texts are free of charge on most cell phone carriers and will not show up on cell phone bills.
The workers who answer can also triage texts if needed. “If people use specific words like ‘suicide’ or ‘I’ve hurt myself’, they’ll get prioritized,” said Brent Lawyer, executive director of MHRS.
Several area schools, as well as Warren County Children Services and Juvenile Court, are helping to promote the crisis text line. Statewide, marketing efforts are underway in several areas served by mental health and addiction services boards.
Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren and Clinton Counties is the local board of mental health and addiction services serving residents of Warren and Clinton Counties. MHRS plans, funds, and monitors services for residents with mental health, alcohol and addiction issues by contracting with local agencies to provide programs for individuals, families and others affected by mental illness and addiction. For more information about MHRS or the Suicide Prevention Coalition, visit the MHRS website at mhrsonline.org.