The Text For Humanity switchboard, created by cloud communications company, Sinch in partnership with Mental Health America (MHA), now allows users to send a message of support to frontline workers – and get one in return. Alongside regular text messaging, the service is now also available on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Originally launched in January to combat online negativity and promote the sharing of positive messages, the service has processed more than 83,000 messages of positivity across 85 countries.
As the world moves into the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic, TFH now enables people to identify themselves as either a frontline worker, or someone living in isolation. In turn, senders can choose the group they would like to send a personalised message of thanks and support. Frontline workers include anyone from nurses and doctors to delivery drivers and supermarket staff.
There is no charge for the service. Neither Sinch nor MHA profit from Text For Humanity.
MHA’s screening numbers have been growing since the start of the pandemic. MHA has seen a 70% increase in the number of people taking an anxiety (GAD-7) screen and a 64% increase in the number of people taking a depression (PHQ-9) screen between January and April.
According to the UK’s Office of National Statistics, nearly half of all adults have reported high levels of anxiety through this period, with 51% saying the crisis was affecting their wellbeing.
MHA and similar organizations will play a vital role in supporting society through this challenging period. Even as the world returns to what’s been described as the ‘new normal’, it’s clear that this process risks creating further anxiety. Knowing the impact Text For Humanity achieved in a small space of time, we felt the switchboard could do more to aid the global COVID-19 effort.
Oscar Werner, CEO, Sinch
Text For Humanity is enabled by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and SMS so it’s easy for anyone with even the most basic phone to join. This is particularly important for the elderly who are among the least likely to own a smartphone.
Number options and links to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are available on TextForHumanity.com