ReflexAI Election Stress Training (R.E.S.T.)

Tactical preparation for crisis line personnel to support individuals struggling in the lead-up to the 2024 election.

What is election stress?

“Election stress” describes heightened feelings and mental health challenges connected to political events, particularly during election periods. It’s a common reaction to the intensity of political campaigns and potential outcomes, particularly in times of divisive rhetoric. Election stress can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, political affiliation, or religious belief.

How does it show up in crisis conversations?

Those experiencing election stress may express an intense rumination about politics, difficulty focusing due to election news and political discussions, social isolation to avoid defending their political views, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to racing thoughts about the election. As someone struggles to see a path forward, thoughts of suicide can also occur.

Why is it critical to handle election stress effectively on a crisis call?

An impactful crisis conversation for individuals experiencing election-related anxiety provides options for seeking support and utilizing key coping strategies to help bolster resilience. Additionally, if someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings in relation to the election, seeking immediate professional assistance is vital.

“One of our highest priorities in 2024 is preparing for calls and texts that are connected with the election.”

— Crisis Line Leader

ReflexAI’s training

The Election Stress Training includes AI-powered simulations for participants to practice their crisis support skills in the context of election stress scenarios. Each participant also receives an extensive guide on how to apply their crisis line skills to election stress interactions. Frequently, responders have the core skills but don’t have the ability (and confidence!) to deploy them in these types of conversations. To address this specific need, R.E.S.T. focuses on five particular topics.

Identifying election stress

For many individuals, election stress will be a critical reason for the call, and crisis responders should be able to identify this cause in the opening minutes.

Connecting effectively

Empathizing with a caller experiencing election stress requires a nuanced ability to focus on emotions and experience. There are multiple ways to do so effectively, rather than focusing specifically on political debates or validating political beliefs.

Assessing suicide risk

Risk assessments vary by organization, but it is critical to ask questions that are neutral, direct, and non- judgmental. Specifics such as timeframe and means can also be life-saving.

Safety planning

Collaboratively discussing next steps is critical in interactions with election stress. Focusing on actions within the individual’s control is valuable, and should address the emotions that an individual is experiencing.

Counselor self-care

Crisis work can be challenging, even for the most resilient members of the team. Crisis responders may also experience election stress, and equipping themselves translates into better outcomes for them and individuals reaching out.

Awards & Recognition


Recognized on TIME’s
100 Best Inventions of 2021

Mission Daybreak

Selected as a winner of the VA’s suicide prevention grand challenge


Supported by
through a significant grant and dedicated experts

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ReflexAI is redefining the standards of training and quality assurance with best-in-class AI and a focus on responsible innovation.

Reach out to explore how you can provide ReflexAI’s Election Stress Training to your team.