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Bay Area Non-Profit Launches 24/7 Crisis Text Line for Teens

The Bay Area youth charity, A Brighter Day, has officially partnered up with Crisis Text Line; now anyone can text BRIGHTER to 741741 to speak to a trained counselor for immediate crisis support. Closely following an impressive partnership with the teletherapy powerhouse Betterhelp, this new platform expands the charity's offerings of resources for parents and teens.

Crisis Text Line and A Brighter Day share a similar mission and values that evolve around empathy, innovation, and creating a world where no one feels alone. It couldn't be more fitting that they've joined hands in a non-profit partnership to bring help to teens who need to reach out, or worse, who are on the brink of making a tragic decision. The Bay Area youth charity has been focused on teen suicide prevention since its founding in 2015. The data doesn't lie. Teen suicide rates have been skyrocketing in this country and remain the third leading cause of death in ages 15-19. Youth and young adults ages 10-24 account for a whopping 14% of all suicide deaths in the country.

The problem with teen suicide, however, is twofold. On one hand, access to mental health resources is low. On the other hand, possibly even more damaging, teenagers are afraid to reach out, share their feelings, or ask for help. Unfortunately, the charity's founder, Elliot Kallen, has been through the devastating experience of losing his son to suicide. If anyone knows the value of crisis intervention, it's him.

"It would be great if teens would reach out to friends and relatives. In fact, it's preferred, and we advocate for keeping parents involved. Friends and relatives can be powerful in fixing an immediate problem. However, from personal experience, it just doesn't happen," Kallen explains. "Teens just don't want to open up and share their feelings, even with those closest to them. Sometimes they would prefer the advice of strangers who show they care."

Crisis Text Line has quickly become the country's largest provider of text-based crisis intervention services. Since the company started in 2013, they've answered close to 8 million conversations which they proudly display on their website. It was one, single, heart-wrenching text message from a teenager suffering devastating abuse that inspired the CEO, Nancy Lublin.

The process works. The company isn't built on hope, it's built on data science. In a project funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an extensive study was completed in May 2022. It investigated the effectiveness of crisis-text line interventions and the texter's perceptions of counselors. About 65.2% of texters felt their counselor was genuinely concerned for their well-being. 86.5% of texters found the conversation helpful. 37.8% felt more hopeful after while 46.1% reported feeling less suicidal. The younger the teenager was, the more helpful they found the conversation.

Having its own crisis text line brings A Brighter Day to a new level as they gain traction in the nonprofit industry. Teens need rapid, and high-quality support in times of crisis. Kallen is thrilled about what this means for the charity. "We are so excited to bring this to teens and parents. I know from doing this for the last 7 years that immediate texting conversation is so important. Especially for teens who use their phones as the primary means of communication. We are bringing the help to where they are, so they don't have to find us. This fills a necessary gap in support and will hopefully change lives."

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Source: Yahoo News

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