Vermonters In Mental Health Crisis Can Now Text For Support

Dec 1, 2016

Vermonters have a new way of reaching help when they are having a mental health crisis: the Crisis Text Line. People can text the initials "VT" to the number 741741 and a trained crisis counselor will respond within 5 minutes.

Melissa Bailey, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Mental Health, says the service was intended for young people, but a wider diversity of age groups have used it.

"There are different cadres of people that are really interested in communicating via text," Bailey told Vermont Edition on Thursday. "It feels like it's a quick, nonthreatening way to communicate about something that you're struggling with."

The counselor who responds will help determine if the individual is at imminent risk and can send emergency rescue services to the person's location.

The trained counselors are not therapists, and the crisis line is answered out of state.

Listen to the full interview from Vermont Edition above.