County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust places cookies on your computer to improve our website. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor and are all anonymous.� They are used to measure its performance and to provide enhancements to you while using the site. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our privacy policy. Close
High Contrast

Crisis Messenger Texting Service

Crisis Messenger texting process (powered by Shout):

1. You can text about whatever is a crisis to you - anxiety, panic attacks, violence, depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and suicide.  

2. The volunteer Crisis Counsellor listens without judgement, invites you to share more, and helps you move from a hot moment to a cool calm. You'll text back and forth, sharing only what you feel comfortable.

3. The first automated text replies are 4 quick fire messages "Welcome to Crisis Text Line"; "Link to Privacy Policy"; "If you keep texting we will record your data"; "To stop messaging text: STOP and to delete all history text: LOOFA".

4. After some automated responses with information covering consent and data retention, you'll connect with a live, trained volunteer Crisis Counsellor who receives the text on their computer.

5. The goal of the conversation is to help you find calm. This may mean sharing resources that offer more help; sometimes it means listening. The purpose of the text line is to take people from a high risk to a low risk situation and to signpost longer term support, as necessary.

6. It usually takes less than 5 minutes to connect you with a Crisis Counsellor, but may be longer during busy times.

7. Conversations usually end when you and the Crisis Counsellor feel comfortable that you're in a "cool," safe place, after 15 - 45 minutes.

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham