The Vermont Department of Mental Health has put out a new twenty-four hour texting service to help those going through a mental crisis.

The press release says the new service is a way for people to find support where and when they need it, seven day a week with trained Crisis Counselors. 

Health Officials say the new service is provided through the Vermont Department of Mental Health and the national organization Crisis Text Line.

“Our mission is to ensure Vermonters have access to effective and meaningful mental health support services,” said Dr. J Batra, Medical Director at the Vermont Department of Mental Health.

“Crisis Text Line will help make a difference for people to get support in the moment, especially for those individuals who may feel more comfortable sharing difficult thoughts and feelings through text messaging. This is an important complement and gateway to the state’s mental health services, such as face-to-face crisis response at Vermont’s community mental health centers,” added Batra.

How Crisis Text Line™ works:

  • The person in crisis or needing support sends a text with the letters “VT” to 741741
  • Within 5 minutes the person in crisis or needing support will get an automated text and then a response from a trained Crisis Counselor through a secure platform
  • The counselor will stay in text communication until the crisis is abated and there is a plan for next steps
  • If there is immediate danger, the counselor can work with local resources to get supports to the person in crisis
  • The counselors are not therapists, but they are trained to help with active listening that is empathetic, understanding and respectful

Health officials say the service is free* for Vermonters with a five minute response time through a secure service.  The number is private and will not show up on your cell phone bill. 

You can find out more information about the Crisis Text Line by clicking here

*for Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile carriers; all others carriers may charge rates