About Lifeline Crisis Chat
Lifeline Crisis Chat is a joint service of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in partnership with CONTACT USA. It is the first service of its kind where crisis centers across the United States have joined together to form one national chat network that can provide online emotional support, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention services. All crisis centers that participate in the Lifeline Crisis Chat program are members of the Lifeline phone network and are required to be accredited by CONTACT USA in the area of online emotional support.
Visitors logging on to chat will interact with a chat specialist who will give them space to talk about what they are upset about, exploring feelings and thoughts associated with the crisis. Chat specialists will also assess for suicide risk and work collaboratively with the visitor to come up with a safety plan which addresses postive coping strategies and next steps. The specialists who answer chats have had thorough training in crisis and suicide intervention, as well as specific topics such as youth issues.
If you cannot reach a Lifeline Crisis Chat specialist, we recommend that you call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for emotional support, or if you are in imminent danger, dial 9-1-1.
CONTACT USA has been offering help to those in need through online chat since 2010. Crisis Chat has been a nationwide project that aims to improve access to mental health care. Crisis Chat has linked existing certified crisis call centers around the United States on one website platform, creating a service that will eventually route website visitors to the crisis center that serves their local area. Crisis Chat has also provided essential emotional support and crisis intervention services to millions of people who are depressed, despairing or thinking about suicide.
In April of 2013, CONTACT USA partnered with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) to provide expanded crisis/suicide prevention services to ensure a safety net of services across the country for all chatters in need of help during times of crisis. Because many of our centers are part of the Lifeline, we developed a memorandum of understanding which outlines how both entities will work together to ensure quality services to all those in need of emotional support and crisis intervention on-line.
The crisischat.org website will continue to serve as a full-service online crisis site, offering both direct and indirect service options. In this way, people accessing the site will be able to pick and choose among these interventions based on their own comfort level, perhaps visiting the site the first time for information and the second time to talk to a chat specialist. When the choice is to chat, the request will be routed directly to the Lifeline Crisis Chat program, and in turn routed to one of the many centers that are a part of Lifeline and accredited by CONTACT USA.