Crisis Text Line has counseled teens through nearly 2 million problems. Here’s how this idea got its start.

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Teenagers love to text—their thumbs pound out an average of 3,339 texts per month. Crisis Text Line turns this into a way to help teens through their hardest times: family issues, stress or suicidal thoughts. Trained counselors text back and forth with advice and resources—and, in the process, collect (anonymous) data that could lead to better policy to protect teens.

Crisis Text Line gets 11,000 messages from teenagers in distress a day—the service will respond to its 2 millionth message this month. And founder Nancy Lublin says the service simply wouldn’t exist if she hadn’t been asked to give a TED Talk about it.

Lublin met TED curator Chris Anderson in December 2011, and told him something she’d noticed while working with teens at DoSomething.org: They’re shockingly honest via text message. She wondered out loud if a Crisis Text Line might be more effective than traditional crisis hotlines.

Anderson was…

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