A free crisis text line is available to Oregonians who need immediate assistance for behavioral health support. If someone is in crisis, they can text OREGON to 741741, and they will receive a text response from a live, trained crisis counselor who can provide them with help. The line is available 24/7.
Crisis Counselors are volunteers from around the United States who have been trained to support callers in crisis and are supported by full-time staff. Staff members have experience in crisis intervention, and many have graduate degrees in a relevant field. The counselors use active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning to help texters in their moment of crisis. Counselors are available to respond in English. Crisis Text Line cannot currently support texters in Spanish but is in active development of these services.
Crisis Text Line (CTL) is a national service and is not connected to existing Oregon crisis services. If someone is considered at imminent risk for suicide, CTL may contact emergency services who may dispatch a wellness team. Currently, CTL is able to deescalate about 60 percent of emergency texters and will work with local emergency services to perform a wellness check for the other 40 percent of texters. Read more about this process.
Why promote a national crisis text line?
Although Oregon mental health agencies offer an array of crisis and mental health support service lines and texting services, there is no current 24/7 texting service that is promoted or supported by OHA.
This gap has been identified by advocates, including members from the Oregon Alliance to Prevent Suicide (an OHA advisory committee), who have recommended that OHA promote and support the Crisis Text Line.
Crisis Text Line was built with the goals to support individuals in crisis and to collect non-identifying data on users. Some of this data is available publicly on the website. States and organizations can also enter into a formal agreement with CTL to provide geographic-specific data. CTL has existing formal agreements with at least 10 other states and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, as well as previous formal agreements with Benton County, Ore.
OHA has paid for anonymous data to be gathered when Oregonians use code “OREGON” through May 31, 2022. This data, which does not identify a caller, will be used to understand the demand for texting services and may be used while developing services available through 988, a national hotline for behavioral health services, similar to 911, that will go live in July 2022.
CTL will remain available 24/7 after that date, even though OHA will not receive usage data after it.
For more information, visit the Crisis Text Line FAQ page.