Mental Health America (MHA) has launched what it claims is the world’s first texting switchboard, #TextForHumanity. The service, developed by cloud communications firm Sinch, enables people to send a positive message to a stranger, and receive one in return.
The service has been developed in response to increasing levels of negativity, anxiety, depression and social isolation. A recent YouGov study among US adults pointed to 30 per cent of millennials feeling lonely – the highest rate of all age groups surveyed.
Anyone wishing to get involved can start the process by texting JOIN to +1 833 421-4726 (additional international number options are available on the TextForHumanity website). The service will then ask for a couple of simple details. All data is stored securely, and no personal or identifying details will be known or shared.
Netx, they can write a short (maximum 160 character) text that will make someone smile. It needs to be within 160 characters, and the website also has tips to help users get started. #TextForHumanity will the share the message with a stranger somewhere in the world, and the sender will receive a positive message from another stranger in return.
In any 24-hour period, users can send and receive up to five positive texts from strangers around the world, and can opt out at any time by simply replying STOP to the service. The service is initially available in English only.
“MHA is thrilled to be partnering with Sinch on this incredible initiative,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America. “We know there is a lot of negativity online these days, and by taking a minute to deliver a simple, positive message to someone who may need it, each of us can help brighten someone’s day and lift up their overall mental well-being.”