Vermont Business Magazine Community Care Network (CCN) and its Rutland Mental Health Emergency Services team have today announced the implementation of a 24/7 crisis textline available to anyone who needs support during a mental health emergency.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that many people, especially young individuals, are reluctant to pick up the phone and call when they need help,” said Loree Zeif, LICSW, director of emergency services with Community Care Network. “We implemented the text line as a way to offer an alternative initial engagement with our crisis team so people could reach out to them in a way they might be more comfortable with.”
CCN’s crisis text line, made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation that covered part of the training and start-up costs, is monitored 24 hours a day and features a simple, easy-to-use process for individuals seeking support.
Individuals contacting the crisis line will typically be connected to a CCN crisis clinician in less than five minutes, although this may vary during high traffic times. From there, crisis clinicians invite individuals to share their concerns at their own pace, help them sort through their feelings by asking questions, empathize and actively listen, and give them the option to switch to phone, video or in-person communication at any time. point and offer referrals for additional help if desired.
“Textline is another access point of support for anyone struggling with a mental health crisis — whether it’s suicidal thoughts, abuse, sexual assault, depression, bullying or a host of other potential scenarios,” Zeif said. “We anticipate that this line may be used more by at-risk communities such as youth and young adults, marginalized and underserved populations, and individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired, but it is available to anyone who needs help.
“Ultimately, the goal of the system and the resulting conversations is to get individuals seeking help to a calm, safe place — sometimes that means giving them a referral for further help, and sometimes that means just being there and listening,” Zeif added.
Individuals may contact the Community Care Network – Rutland Mental Health Crisis Text Line at 802-214-2553.
About Community Care Network: CCN consists of Rutland Mental Health Services and Rutland Community Programs. Community Care Network programs 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 abuse disorders. www.rmhsccn.org.
16.1.2023. Rutland, Vt. – Network for community care