The drive to serve the Spanish-speaking LatinX community in their native language is at the heart of this expansion.
Posted: October 8, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EDT|Update: 20 minutes ago
NEW YORK, October 8, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Crisis text line, the non-profit organization that provides free crisis counseling via SMS, will begin offering its service in Spanish on October 15, 2021. The organization actively recruits and trains bilingual English and Spanish volunteers to help support LatinX’s underserved population in crisis.
At the heart of this expansion is the desire to serve the Spanish-speaking LatinX community in their native language.
The need for this service is high. Suicide among young Latinas is a major public health problem as they attempt suicide more often than any other group of teenage girls nationwide, according to the CDC.
The fact that LatinX people across the United States struggle to find mental health care services in their native language fuels this injustice. According to recent data published by the American Psychological Association, only 5.5% of American psychologists report being able to provide mental health care services in Spanish. Research indicates that language is a major barrier preventing Spanish speakers in the United States from accessing mental health services.
“Our goal has always been to support people in crisis with the technology that’s right for them. Through the hard work of our team and our bilingual volunteer crisis counselors, we can also serve texters who feel more comfortable with them. ‘get mental health support in Spanish, “mentioned Dena Trujillo, Interim CEO of Crisis Text Line.
Crisis Text Line is a free service powered by a community of volunteer crisis counselors who help those in distress, moving them from a time of crisis to a time of calm and freshness through de-escalation, problem-solving and active listening skills. The organization actively recruits and trains bilingual volunteers in English and Spanish. To apply to become a volunteer, visit https://www.crisistextline.org/palabras.
LatinX texts already represent 17% of Crisis Text Line texters, based on voluntary demographics. English-speaking LatinX texts tend to be younger (56% were 17 or younger) and more likely to be female (79%) than all texts combined.
During the Spanish Service Pilot Project, Crisis Text Line had over 1,000 texting conversations in Spanish and observed that Spanish-speaking texts were more likely to discuss depression, anxiety, and relationship issues than the average for Crisis Text Line during the same period. The majority of texts that used the Spanish service were from Texas, California and Florida.
“I am incredibly proud of the culturally competent service, the first of its kind, that we have built to help the Spanish speaking community as it deserves,” said Natalia Dayan, director of localization of crisis lines of text.
Crisis Text Line is known for its innovative use of technology and data, leveraging machine learning to stack incoming messages to serve the most risky texts first. To increase access to the service for Spanish-speaking texts, Crisis Text Line has also launched a new modality: WhatsApp. Now, anyone in crisis can also contact a volunteer crisis counselor on WhatsApp, an app with over 32 million Hispanic and LatinX users.
About the Crisis Text Line
Crisis text line has been providing free confidential 24/7 support to people in crisis via SMS since 2013. Volunteer Crisis Counselors undergo 30-hour training and are supervised 24/7 by mental health professionals full-time Crisis Text Line. Text HOLA to 741741 or text 442-AYUDAME in WhatsApp to be connected to a crisis counselor trained in Spanish. Text CRISIS to 741741 for English. Crisis Text Line currently offers its service in the United States, UK, Canada, and Ireland. Learn more about www.crisistextline.org.
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SOURCE Crisis text line
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