We’re Here to Help: Text for Addiction Support

Mental Health America is an organization that is run by people who live with mental health and substance use conditions.

In 2023, we launched a program providing texting support for people with mental health and addiction needs.

The program is FREE for those living in the United States. The text line operates from 10am to midnight 12am Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).

If you’re interested in trying our texting line, you can text “hello” to 678-264-6978. If you’d like, you can also share your “name” (real or made up) and what’s on your mind. There’s no right or wrong way to start.

    If you’re interested in trying our texting line, you can text “hello” to the number for your state. If you’d like, you can also share your “name” (real or made up) and what’s on your mind. There’s no right or wrong way to start.

Who am I talking to?

If you’re struggling with addiction or recovery, you can talk to someone with lived experience just like you. Our staff are “peer support specialists” who have been where you are. They have lived through active addiction and recovery and can provide guidance, support, and access to resources that could help you.

What should I expect?

The line is more than a one-time call or a crisis text line. Our peers are here for you in the long term. After we help you with your first contact, the peers will ask if you’d like us to stay in touch. We’d really like to be there when things get harder and when they get better—but it’s up to you. Our job is to help you during these early times and hopefully connect you to other supports if that’s what you want and need. If all you want is to solve some problems or ask some questions and that’s all—that’s great too!

What can we talk about?

Anything that’s on your mind. Our peers are prepared to talk about:

  • Your questions
  • Your experiences
  • Your worries, struggles, and concerns
  • Your successes and triumphs
  • Questions about resources or advice

Can I talk to my peer over the phone?

If you’re more interested in talking to your peer rather than texting them, you can ask your peer to initiate a phone call. We can expect phone calls to get quite detailed and personal. No data associated with the content of phone conversations will be included in any research and will be deleted.

Can I meet my peer in person?

Depending on where you live, if we have a peer in your city, we have created the program in a way to let your peer meet with you in person to help you connect to the next level of care. This might mean meeting with you at the office of one of our MHA affiliates to help you get connected to an in-person therapist, join an in-person support group in the community, or attend a 12-step meeting (AA, NA, etc.).

Privacy and switching peers

Texting happens on a software that is shared by our team. When your text comes in, a peer who is working that shift will pick up your text on a first-come, first-served basis. This helps us make sure we can try to respond to you as fast as we can. Your peer will introduce themselves and support you on your first call. After your first contact, if you are interested in switching to a different peer (for example, to talk to someone who is a specific gender), we can try to accommodate that change. To make that change, you can text “Hi, ___(your peer) Can I change peers to someone who is ___(female).” The number will stay the same, but the new peer will take over in the conversation. All conversations are kept confidential within our team, and only the peer(s) who is supporting you will be reading the details of your conversation.

Data and research

Our team is doing research for the work. We are trying to see if this kind of service works; if people want to use it; and if it does work, how we can invest in the service and make it available for more people. When we work with the data associated with the project, all identifiable and personal details will be removed before we analyze it. If you want to use the service but want ALL your data removed from the research component, you can email John at [email protected]. John is our Data Scientist, and he can remove all data associated with your contact.