Crisis Text Line

Do Something

Date Awarded
Grant Period
01/14/14 to 08/13/15
Focus Area
Media Innovation
Knight News Challenge

Project Links

Grantee Contact

  • New York, NY

Featured Media

To scale Crisis Text Line, a service providing crisis counseling to teens via SMS, by launching nationwide and aggregating anonymized data to increase understanding of teen crisis across the country.

Now in beta, Crisis Text Line provides youth with free counseling via text message, and so far has helped teens in crisis with more than 10,000 text conversations. Created by one of the largest organizations for teens and social change in the country,, Crisis Text Line provides intervention and referral services from live, trained counselors, reaching teens through their preferred means of communication: SMS. With challenge funding, Crisis Text Line will both launch the service nationally and create what they expect will be one of the largest database on teens in crisis in the country. The anonymously aggregated data could be used to inform academic research, test new approaches and measure the effectiveness of mental health interventions.

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Project Team

Jen Chiou

Executive Director

Jen Chiou is the Executive Director of CTL, where she leads the team to achieve CTL’s objectives: support youth in need, 24/7, wherever they are, and use insights from our work to develop and share innovations in prevention, treatment, and long-term care. Prior to CTL, she was General Manager at GOOD, where she launched GOOD Maker, an online crowdsourcing tool, and GOOD Local, a network of volunteer-led chapters. She previously was a Managing Director at Teach For All, an international NGO founded by Teach For America that works to expand educational opportunity, and a strategy consultant for nonprofits and foundations at the Bridgespan Group. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University.

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