Guest post by Whitney Weeden


My name is Whitney Weeden, and I am so honored to be sharing part of my story with you today. I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2013 where I studied Public Relations and Psychology without much understanding of what that meant for my future.

I struggled with anxiety for years of my childhood. From avoiding school field trips and sleepovers to skipping out on the local pool day because I needed to stay by Mom’s side at all times, anxiety was something that ruled my day to day life as a child and young teenager.

During this time, the cure was having a cell phone that I could use to call or text Mom whenever I needed to. This was strange for a child my age, but it helped give me peace of mind.

I am now 25, and while anxiety still plays a part in my life (and probably in everyone’s life in some way), I have found a way to help children and adults living with all kinds of anxieties.

Crisis Text Line is a “free, 24/7 emotional support for those in crisis” ( Anyone can text “START” to 741-741 to text with a Crisis Counselor. The idea is that the texter is able to use a medium that they already trust and are familiar with in order to get help. In addition, texting allows people to gather their thoughts in a way that is sometimes easier than talking on the phone.

Crisis Text Line was established as an extension of Do Something (, one of the largest online communities for young people. Nancy Lublin (Do Something’s former CEO and CTL’s Founder and now full-time CEO) noticed that members of Do Something started sending increasingly personal text messages. Lublin recognized a need for a separate channel for these messages in order to better assist these young people.

Crisis Counselors at Crisis Text Line are there to actively listen to what texters are going though, provide empathy, and collaboratively move toward a better place; whether that’s engaging in an activity that provides happiness, talking with a friend or therapist, or finding something helpful in an online community.

In addition to helping people talk through a tough time, Crisis Text Line tracks the type of crisis and the peak times people are texting in ( This kind of data is incredibly important for a number of reasons, but one that stuck out to me was the ability for schools to ensure that their guidance counselors are available during peak crisis times.

Lublin has a fantastic Ted Talk video that explains all of this and more called “Texting That Saves Lives” that I highly recommend watching.

After five weeks of training, I have been volunteering as a Crisis Counselor since September 2015, and I have finally come to understand why Public Relations and Psychology were the areas that interested me in college. The people who I text with really need my help, and I am able to provide it.

If you are interested in learning more about Crisis Text Line, I am always happy to chat about this amazing organization that I was lucky enough to stumble across. If you are interested in volunteering, you can find more information here: