AMERICUS, GEORGIA – The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI) announced today a partnership with Crisis Text Line, an organization that provides free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support. Since 2013, Crisis Text Line has supported over 6 million people in crisis. By incorporating targeted outreach to America’s 53 million caregivers, RCI and Crisis Text Line hope to support a growing community of caregivers navigate the stresses and demands of providing care.
Caregivers who need mental health support can text TOUGH to 741741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor, free, 24/7.
“The Rosalynn Carter Institute has been proud to provide evidence-based programming – including free, personalized, one-on-one coaching – to caregivers for more than 30 years. But with the number of caregivers continuing to grow and the stresses placed upon them greater than ever, we need to do more,” said Dr. Jennifer Olsen, Chief Executive Officer of RCI. “It is going to take both individual support and a systems-level advocacy approach to bring caregivers back from their breaking point, and we are committed to doing both. This partnership with Crisis Text Line will help us reach more caregivers in more ways and we are grateful for their willingness to assist more caregivers at their moment of greatest need.”
The partnership between RCI and Crisis Text Line comes during National Family Caregivers Month and emerged from a growing demand for resources from caregivers, many of whom have had limited access to respite care or other supports during the pandemic.
“Crisis text line is about meeting people where they are and providing high-quality support and intervention in a medium that feels safe and comfortable for anyone in crisis. The pandemic has illuminated just how vulnerable our nation’s caregivers are, and we are pleased to partner with the Rosalynn Carter Institute to connect with this community that plays such a critical role in the overall health and stability of our country,” said Dr. Shairi Turner, Chief Medical Officer of Crisis Text Line.
In October 2020, RCI issued a report called Caregivers in Crisis that underscored the tremendous need for support in the caregiver community. In a survey of more than 400 caregivers across 46 states, the vast majority – 83 percent – reported an increased level of stress due to the pandemic. Later that year, RCI continued the drumbeat with its seminal report, Recalibrating for Caregivers, which sounded the alarm on the caregiving crisis and calls for a holistic public health approach for caregivers.
RCI continues to put caregivers at the center of their advocacy work, calling on policymakers, employers, and communities to step up and recognize caregiver status as a social determinant of health. In September, RCI’s latest research, Working While Caring, found that 1 in 5 full-time workers is a caregiver and that 44 percent have had to cut back on their hours due to caregiving responsibilities.
About RCI: The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers promotes the health, strength, and resilience of caregivers throughout the United States. Established in 1987 by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Institute’s priority is the unpaid family caregiver: those individuals who care for a relative, friend, or loved one. To learn more about RCI, its advocacy, how to participate in programs, or build a partnership, visit www.rosalynncarter.org.
About Crisis Text Line: Crisis Text Line has been providing free, 24/7, confidential support for people in crisis via text since 2013. Volunteer Crisis Counselors complete a 30-hour training and have 24/7 supervision by full-time Crisis Text Line mental health professionals. Text HOLA to 741741 or text to 442-AYUDAME in WhatsApp to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor in Spanish. Text CRISIS to 741741 for English. Crisis Text Line currently offers its service in the USA, UK, Canada, and Ireland. Learn more at www.crisistextline.org.