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Image capture from crisistextline.org/trends, 6/19/16.

Crisistextline.org is a relatively new online service in the US that makes it possible for distressed people to seek help via chat, 24/7. Data aggregated from its more than 18,000 conversations per day — more than 141 million messages total since the service opened in August 2013 — also provide a staggering picture of how and when people experience such profound emotional distress that they will make contact with a stranger for support.

If you need help now, you can contact Crisistextline.org by texting START to 741-741.

For those of us who believe that God and God’s church can be a source of great comfort and support, the data picture is, in itself, a source of emotional distress. It turns out that Sunday, our primary day of community celebration, is a very tough day in the world of crisis counselors. Sunday is the day of the week that the largest number of help-seekers to Crisistextline.org

  • Want to die
  • Want to hurt themselves
  • Feel isolated
  • Struggle with relationship issues
  • Seek help in an abusive relationship

Discovering that Sunday is the worst day of the week for so many is the reason that I publish this blog on Sundays. For now, I’m publishing at 3 am because I know — based on the messages I receive from time to time — that some readers are awake at that hour.

Here is a little more detail from  Crisistextline.org about when people are most likely to make contact for help with these critical personal issues.

I want to die / I want to hurt myself

Suicidal impulses and the desire to self-harm aren’t driven by exactly the same feelings, however similar they look. People who self-harm often are trying to relieve their internal pain while keeping on keeping on. People who want to die are often tired of trying. Texters with suicidal thoughts and the desire to self-harm both peak on Monday, with Sunday close behind.

Self harm

Monday, then Sunday are when most people text Crisistextline.org with concern about self-harm, with texters gradually declining over the week.

Suicidal thoughts

Monday and Sunday are the days that the largest number of texters contact Crisistextline.org describing suicidal thoughts.

I Feel Alone

Sunday is also the biggest day for texters who feel isolated. A sense of isolation can be a precursor to suicidal thinking, which makes it a critical issue to address. The first four days of the work week (Monday through Thursday) follow close behind.

My Relationships are a Mess

Sunday and Monday are tied for texters who feel in crisis about a significant relationship. Friends, family, and significant others are all in the constellation of those who appear in these conversations. Because a sense of belonging is so essential to our human understanding of who we are and what makes us important in this world, relational crises can seriously undermine our desire to press forward in life.

I’m Being Physically Abused

Sunday and Monday are the days that the largest number of texts arrive related to physical abuse. Accessing this support via text offers particular advantages: A woman taking refuge in a locked bathroom from her abusive spouse may not dare to allow her voice to be heard, as one example.

I Feel Sad / Depressed

Depression and sadness draw more texts during the first four days of the work week than on Friday or weekend days. Grief likewise generates more texts Monday through Thursday.

Find help today

People of many ages prefer to make contact by text instead of by telephone. Sometimes text is the only way to seek help. A woman taking refuge in a locked bathroom from her abusive spouse may not dare to allow her voice to be heard.A potential suicide at Niagara Falls may not be able to make his voice heard over the thunder of the crashing waters.

If you need help now, you can contact Crisistextline.org by texting START to 741-741.

Texts are free if your provider is AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon. With other providers, standard message rates apply.

If all of their volunteers are helping other people in crisis, please jump the emotional hurdle to call one of the many good telephone crisis lines offered on their referral page.

I want Sunday to be a day when people know that they can walk into a local congregation looking and feeling like a wreck and be embraced.

Until everyone feels that way, I’m grateful for Crisistextline.org