COLUMBIA — The L.E.A.D. Institute, an advocacy and counseling center, has begun offering a 24-hour crisis-intervention texting service.
Two of the institute's programs, the Missouri Crisis Line and Deafline Missouri, are offering the texting service in addition to their call-in crisis lines. The services provide support for mental health issues, substance abuse and other situations, according to a news release from the institute.
The texting service has been in operation since January, but the institute has waited until now to promote it so that it could make sure it would run smoothly.
"When people text, it's less personal. It's easier for some," said Stephanie Logan, the institute's executive director.
The crisis lines are staffed by trained professionals, according to the release. Anyone who calls or texts is connected with someone to provide support and information about available resources.
Those who want to use the service can text HAND to 839863. Standard texting rates apply.
Supervising editor is Richard Webner.