Springfield Public Forum Takes on Addiction, Suicide and Lives in Crisis

Nancy Lublin to Speak on Oct. 5 on How Her Text Hotline Saves Lives.

  • More Massachusetts residents committed suicide in 2013 than died as a result of car crashes and homicides combined.
  • Substance abuse in Massachusetts cause a record level of deaths by opioid overdoses in 2013; in Springfield alone, 23 people died in 2013.

(Department of Public Health Data)

Nancy Lublin is trying to do something about these and other startling statistics resulting from people who face crisis situations. The social entrepreneur is harnessing people, technology, and data to change the world. In 2013, Lublin launched Crisis Text Line, the world’s first 24/7, free, text message-initiated support service for people facing a range of issues, from depression and substance abuse to eating disorders and physical abuse. Based on the success of the text line in the U.S., Lublin expanded Crisis Text Line internationally, allowing people around the world to text in and get help.

The text line’s website states its first principle as, “We fight for the texter. Our first priority is helping people move from a hot moment to a cool calm, guiding you to create a plan to stay safe and healthy. YOU = our priority.”

Since August 1, 2013, the text line has fielded for than 18 million texts. Using this data, Lublin launched a separate initiative called Crisis Trends to track when and where issues occur and opened the data to help fuel other people’s work.

The insights gained can be used to help make outreach to people in crisis and the ability to help them through their crises more effective. These insights include:

  • Requests for help with bullying occur most often after school, Monday – Friday between 3 and 8 p.m.
  • Those who are struggling with substance abuse are most vulnerable on Saturday and Monday.
  • Suicidal thoughts are most prevalent between 7 and 9 p.m.

Lublin is a long-established social entrepreneur, At 23 years old, she turned a $5,000 inheritance into Dress for Success, a global nonprofit, helping more than 850,000 women in 20 countries achieve economic independence, and after taking over as CEO of DoSomething.org in 2003, Lublin turned it into the largest youth organization in the world. Author of the bestseller Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business, Lublin has been featured on Oprah, 60 Minutes, CNN, and in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Economist.

The Springfield Public Forum is providing the opportunity for local residents to learn more about Lublin’s work, the Crisis Text Line, and how our community can benefit from this crises prevention initiative. Come hear her speak on Oct. 5, 2016, 6 p.m. (ET) at Springfield Symphony Hall. As always, the event is free and open to all residents of the greater Springfield area.

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