By Mike Kruzman /

Livingston County residents who are feeling the pressures of life weighing down on them can text the state’s new crisis hotline and get help.

As part of the Stay Home, Stay Well initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is now offering a crisis mental health support line. By texting the keyword RESTORE to 741741, residents can have a confidential conversation with a crisis counselor. Trained counselors are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to residents facing a mental health crisis that might range anywhere from anxiety and financial issues, to suicide and domestic violence. Anyone in emotional distress that feels a chat by text would be useful is encouraged to take advantage of the service, as the crisis counselors can help people shift from a heated moment to a calmer state. Residents using the line can also receive referrals and connections to local mental health resources. All texts are confidential, but will also provide the state broad trends to understand the potential need for additional services.

The line is provided through a partnership with Crisis Text Line, an organization established in 2013that provides this type of support internationally. They recognize that texting is a fast and easy way to connect with people, and that it may be the preferred method of communication for people who need immediate support.

Though the service is beginning locally during the pandemic, the state health department intends to continue it in the future.