Mental health is a critical topic to whole-body health. When Sara Grey returned from #BlogHer18 Health in New York, she was filled with stories about all sorts of amazing women but one that she shared that we kept telling and retelling to our friends, was about Jen James. Named a #VOTY (voice of the year) at BlogHer and the 2018 recipient of the “Courage Award” Jen James helps squash the stigma commonly associated with mental health disorders like a boss-bitch.
Founding supervisor of Crisis Text Line 24/7 crisis intervention via text messaging and Head of Network, Jen developed the curriculum and trains volunteers on crisis intervention for the hotline. Inspired to action through her own experiences as a survivor, Jen James is the heart of Crisis Text Line and the spine of its philosophy. If you don’t think of texting as a way to help those in crisis, well, would knowing that 61,887,374 texts have been exchanged on the matter since 2013 change your mind? Yeah, we thoughts so.
The Crisis Text Line was developed as part of DoSomething.Org when one of the workers, Stephanie Shih received a text that read “He won’t stop raping me” “it’s my Dad. he told me not to tell anyone. r. u. there?” Shih showed the message correspondence to her boss Nancy Lublin and over the next two years, these women would develop what is now known as Crisis Text Line, the only 24/7 crisis-intervention hotline conducted via text message.
Lublin recognized the high volume of people who were using text messaging as their primary mode of communication as well as the mode of communication for people in crisis - a text is easy to send and can be private to a person in crisis, done at anytime and without drawing additional or unwanted attention to the matter [think domestic violence instances or sitting at the lunch table with friends for example]. Launched in March of 2014 with 20 people, today Crisis Text Line has over 4,000 volunteers and anyone can text “Hello” to 741741 if they are in crisis.
James’ role was to create a remote training program for volunteers all over the world. The requirements are pretty simple:
1. A social security number for a background check
2. 18 and over
3. A good heart “We are not there to teach you to be kind, you should be kind. We don’t want dicks” -Jen James
Get get the whole story, including Jen James' own moment of conquering crisis, tune into WANNABE Radio wherever you stream your podcasts or head over to our webpage to stream it directly here: