The Heartbreaking Text

The Heartbreaking Text that inspired a crisis help line - Nancy Lublin

Length: 10 minutes

What It's about: 

How marketing through text messaging resulted in a new way to help young adults.

What I Liked: 

I loved hearing about how texting and anonymity can be used to get through to youths in crisis. In American there is so much shame that is associated with emotional troubles and mental illness that this seems like a great place (but a very challenging way) to start interventions.

What I Didn’t Like: 

She made a few comments that I felt were unnecessary and disparaging about Native Americans and mormons. I don’t want to be oversensitive, but as she clearly has access to a lot of sensitive data, I hope that she will handle it with more sensitivity. Comments like hers serve to propagate stereotypes.

What fascinated Me: 

Both that she was finding innovative ways to access a new audience in desperate need, and that her organization are able to mine the data to find important trends and information.

My Final Thought:

You cannot help people who do not want to be helped, so stepping in before they are ready may be over-ambitious. However, the availability and anonymity of this crisis line when they need/want it is of paramount importance. I think the idea is transferrable to other arenas as well.