Model & Strategy
Crisis Text Line (CTL) serves anyone in crisis, providing them access to free 24/7 support and information they need, via a medium they already use and trust: text message. CTL uses new technology to address the age-old and poorly addressed issue of teen mental health. On the CTL platform, teens text one universal number which connects them to volunteer counselors across the country who are trained to offer support and professionally supervised. CTL is also able to capture data about adolescent mental health issues in the US, with the aim of improving the standard of care.
CTL is the only nationwide, free, 24/7/365 text line. No other response organization that converses with teens via text serves youth nationally, at all hours of the day, all days of the week, and all weeks of the year, for free. Additionally, CTL’s data is open and free to the public.
For 17 years, Dena drove strategic investments in philanthropic and social impact innovation at Omidyar Network. As an Investment Partner, she was the grant leader and board member for Crisis Text Line for five years. Dena became Interim CEO in 2020 and was named CEO in October 2021. Dena has 20+ years of experience working at the intersection of nonprofit and for-profit organizations and tech systems to maximize social impact. Dena has a deep understanding of the complexity of social sector leadership and is committed to Crisis Text Line’s mission to support texters in need.
Since 2013, Crisis Text Line and their affiliates have had over 9.6 million conversations supporting over 4.3 million texters globally.
Volunteer Crisis Counselors have assisted in over 68,477 suicide de-escalations within the U.S.
They have trained 54,813 volunteers as Crisis Counselors in the U.S. and 73,105 globally, focusing on empathy and active listening skills that are utilized while supporting texters and in volunteers’ daily lives.
Crisis Text Line News
Caltrain, Crisis Text Line Announce PartnershipCaltrain and Crisis Text Line announced a new partnership and the now-ubiquitous “There is Help” signs with suicide hotline numbers posted at local Caltrain stations…Nov 2016
Crisis Text Line Helps Teens in Crisis Through High-Tech HelplineThere’s a groundbreaking way for teens to find high-tech help when they need it urgently. It’s called Crisis Text Line (CTL), and its creators found…Jun 2016
Crisis Text Line Just Raised $23.8 Million in GrantsCrisis Text Line, a free, around the clock text-messaging support line for people in crisis, is getting a massive new round of grants from notable…Jun 2016
Crisis Text Line Featured on WebMD's Special Report: Teens and StressWebMD recently released a special report on how teens who are dealing with stress have been using text messaging to reach out for help when…Apr 2016
For Teens in Crisis, the Next Text Could Be a LifesaverResearchers are excited about Crisis Text Line. “Young people have been reluctant to use crisis services,” observes Anthony Pisani, a suicide prevention researcher at the University…Sep 2015
New Yorker: How Crisis Text Line Harnesses the Power of the Texts to Help TeensDepression is common among teens, and its consequences are volatile: suicide is the third leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of ten and…Feb 2015