This look from the Guardian at SHOUT, a text service based in the UK should help you get a feel for what they are doing:
“We hear from hundreds of people across the UK each day who are vulnerable and isolated and don’t feel they have anyone they can reach out to,” Pienaar said. “Many of our texters tell us they have struggled to get help either because they have not felt able or willing to reach out for help themselves or they have reached out but have had difficulty in getting into mental health support services. The anonymity of texting means that often they are telling us something they haven’t told anyone else.”
I think this is great, because as we see with young people, they are really more comfortable texting, as opposed to talking on the phone. (Heck I am too, and I’m hardly young any more). It also provides them with the ability to reach out right where they are instead of being concerned about who is around the hear them. That’s a huge bonus.
For my UK readers, you can reach out to them by texting SHOUT to 85258.
For those of us in the US, you can also reach out by texting TALK to 741741
If you know of any other text lines in other countries, feel free to leave them in the comments!