We believe video games surprise, delight, inspire, immerse, and bring joy like nothing else we know, which is why we continue to push the Boundaries of Play. Playing video games can also be a tool to reduce stress and provide distraction from a challenging situation.  

At Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), we are deeply committed to the wellbeing of our PlayStation community. That’s why we continuously explore new opportunities to connect with our players and provide the support they might need. In support of Mental Health Awareness Month, which is observed every year in May, we’d like to share that SIE is teaming up with Crisis Text Line. Text keyword CIRCLE to 741741 to access free, text-based 24/7 live support, and a network that includes more than 45,000 trained, volunteer Crisis Counselors throughout the United States.

“Through our partnership with Sony Interactive Entertainment, we’re able to provide access to free, 24/7 mental health support via text to anyone who finds themselves in crisis; however they may define it”, said Dr. Shairi Turner, Chief Medical Officer at Crisis Text Line. 

What is Crisis Text Line?

Crisis Text Line is a non-profit organization that provides text-based mental health support through a community of trained volunteer Crisis Counselors empowered to support people in moments of need. Guided by a mission to promote the mental wellbeing of people wherever they are, Crisis Text Line operates at the intersection of empathy and innovation.

How does it work? 

The service is available free of charge to our PlayStation community and anyone who lives in the US – regardless of being active on our platforms or owning a PlayStation account.

If our team of human moderators receive a report that a player might be struggling, we will send the player a message providing action-oriented support resources. Even without this message from our PlayStation Safety team, in times of need or distress, you can send the keyword CIRCLE to 741741 and you’ll be connected with a trained crisis counselor – this usually happens in less than 5 minutes.

You can also pass on access information and the keyword CIRCLE to other players, friends or anyone close to you who you think might be struggling. This service is meant to be available to everyone in English and Spanish language. Together as a community, we can support and help each other in moments that are challenging, so please feel free to use the Crisis Text Line or encourage others to use it when you think help is needed. 

The person-in-need can text with the volunteer Crisis Counselor for as long as they wish – the counselor is trained to ask questions, listen closely, and help navigate difficult feelings. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool calm.

If you live outside the US, check out the Find a Helpline page to find local organizations that provide resources and support to players in need.

Are my messages with Crisis Text Line confidential?

Yes. Your conversation stays between you and your volunteer Crisis Counselors unless sharing it with emergency services is absolutely necessary for your safety or the safety of others. You can also choose to have your messages deleted by texting DELETE at any point during or after your conversation. Crisis Text Line will also not share your personal information or any content of your conversation with Sony Interactive Entertainment. Learn more about Crisis Text Line’s terms of service and privacy policy guidelines

Our Commitment to Players

There’s no better time to unveil an initiative like this than when our collective attention is on what we, as a society, can do better to address the well-being of those struggling and in need of help during Mental Health Awareness Month. Sony Interactive Entertainment aims to build a joyful experience for all players and we are committed to providing a supportive and positive environment on our platforms. We will continue to do so by constantly reviewing our policies, providing innovative, easy-to-use solutions such as our reporting features, or collaborating with partners that have a shared vision. 

I’d like to close this post by emphasizing that you are not alone! Together as a community, we can support and look out for one another. It is okay to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or simply not okay sometimes – just know that if you or someone close to you is struggling, there are 45,000 Crisis Text Line volunteer Crisis Counselors who are ready to listen and support you when challenging moments arise.