Rutland, Vt. – Community Care Network (CCN) and its Rutland Mental Health Emergency Services Team today announced the implementation of a 24-hour a day, 7 day a week crisis text line available to anyone needing support during a mental health emergency.
“It’s become increasingly clear that many people, especially young individuals, are reticent to pick up the phone and make phone calls when they need help,” said Loree Zeif, LICSW, Director of Emergency Services with Community Care Network. “We’ve implemented the text line as a way to offer an alternative initial engagement with our crisis team for people to reach out in a way that might be more comfortable to them.”
CCN’s crisis text line, made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation which covered a portion of the training and start-up costs, is monitored around-the-clock and features a simple, user-friendly process for individuals seeking support.
Individuals who contact the crisis text line will typically be connected with a CCN crisis clinician in less than five minutes, though this may vary during high-traffic times. From there, crisis clinicians invite the individual to share their concerns at their own pace, help them sort through their feelings by asking questions, empathizing and actively listening, provide them with the option to move to phone, video or in-person communication at any point, and offer referrals for additional help if desired.
“The text line is another support access point for anyone struggling with a mental health crisis – whether it be thoughts of suicide, abuse, sexual assault, depression, bullying or a range of other potential scenarios,” said Zeif. “We anticipate the line may be utilized more by at-risk communities such as youth and young adults, marginalized and underserved populations, and individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities, but it is available to anyone needing help.
“Ultimately, the goal of the system and resulting conversations is to get individuals seeking help to a calm, safe place – sometimes that means providing them with a referral for further help, and sometimes it means just being there and listening,” Zeif added.
Individuals can reach the Community Care Network – Rutland Mental Health Crisis Text Line at 802-214-2553.
About Community Care Network: CCN is comprised of Rutland Mental Health Services and Rutland Community Programs. The programs of Community Care Network serve more than 3,000 people each year throughout Rutland County and are focused on improving the health and well-being of residents and their families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders. www.rmhsccn.org.