Free 24-Hour Help is a Text Away for Anyone Experiencing Any Type of Crisis in the Osage Service area, Text OSAGE to 741741
By Geneva HorseChief-Hamilton, ON Communications
Osage Nation, Okla. (Monday, June 25, 2018)–Can texting save lives? The answer is, without a doubt. Since 2013, Crisis Text Line has been helping millions of people across the U.S. with the simplest and currently the most preferred method of communication, texting. Now, a new partnership between Crisis Text Line and the Osage Nation is bringing free, text-based crisis intervention to the Osage Nation.
“The service is for all sorts of crisis, and that includes the youth who are more likely to text for help rather than ask or call, especially if they are dealing with the types of issues our youth face today like problems at school, relationships, family, and especially life-threatening situations,” said Anthony Shackleford, Osage Nation Prevention (ONP) Program Director. ONP is one of the Osage Nation departments that have been working to bring the service to the Osage Reservation/Osage County service area and Osages nationwide.
The lifesaving helpline is there for anyone experiencing any type of crisis including thoughts of suicide, family and domestic violence, sexual assault, anxiety, self-harm, stress, bullying and more. Additionally, the process requires training of local volunteers and data science collection that provides a better look at the types of crisis people in this area are dealing with.
“We are meeting people in pain where they are, we are in their pocket. We have now processed the data from over 50 million messages,” said Nancy Lublin, Crisis Text Line Chief Executive in an interview with The New York Times. “So, we have aggregated the data and mapped it and you can see the worst time of day for substance abuse; you can see the number one state for anxiety is Connecticut; and you see the number one state for suicidal ideation is Montana. Think about what all that information does for families, policy makers. This is data science and technology that matters.”
The algorithm developed for Crisis Text Line also categorizes words to prioritize the risk level of the person in need. For example, messages containing words and phrases with references to pills are weighted at a higher risk level due to the increased potential for harm and danger. Even the emoji for crying is ranked as high risk and in the category for, “Likelihood of Calling 9-1-1 based on words used.”
Crisis Text Line is the fourth addition to the total number of 24-hour numbers the Osage Nation provides for community members and constituents in need. The Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department, Osage Nation Police Department, and Osage Nation Constituent Services Department all provide 24-hour/seven days a week crisis lines for phone calls. The opportunity to provide a text line to current crisis support systems that tracks data is something Osage Nation Information Technology (ONIT) is excited about as one of the departments involved in building the partnership with Crisis Text Line.
“[ONIT] won’t have access to the data, it’s saved to a secure online portal for reference by [Osage Nation Prevention] staff only. The exciting thing about the data is that it could help prove a need exists when applying for grant funding, or other opportunities,” said Paul Tutty, Osage Nation Information Technologies Web Engineer.
Text OSAGE to 741741
Crisis Text Line is confidential. Anyone in a crisiscan text OSAGE to 741741 and be connected with a live, trained crisis counselor. The number 741741was selected because it is easy to dial without looking at the keyboard because the numbers are in order vertically on all devices. All texts are anonymous, and if at any point a user wants to end the service they can text LOOFAH and all data will be safely scrubbed away without a trace.Training for volunteer duties is available to those who want to volunteer, go to crisistextline.org for more information.
Osage Crisis Text Line: Text OSAGE to 741741
Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Mission Office: (918) 287-5422
24 Hour Crisis Line: (866) 897-4747
The Crisis line is answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Please be advised that for security reasons, the number appearing on your caller I.D. will be different than the crisis line number dialed.
Osage Nation Police Department: (918) 287-5510
Osage Nation Constituent Services: (800) 320-8742
For Media Inquiries: Osage Nation Communications, (918) 287-5599, firstname.lastname@example.org