Texting has become what seems to be the number one means of communication for many, especially teens. So what better way to reach out to teens than to offer a texting program when they need help? We are doing this through the National Safe Place TXT 4 HELP program.
Youth Services is a participant of National Safe Place, a program designed to get kids help fast. In Salt Lake County, we have over 90 Safe Place sites spread throughout the valley. We know that if a youth is in trouble and needs help, they won’t always be nearby. Through the Safe Place program, a teen can walk into any of the Safe Place sites and ask for help. They will call us and, if needed, we can even go pick up the teen and bring them back to our 24-hour facility.
Safe Place introduced a nationwide TXT 4 HELP program a couple of years ago as an additional way to reach more youth. All they have to do is text 69866 with their address and Safe Place will text them with the location and phone number of the Safe Place site. Teens in Utah will also get the phone number to Youth Services.
Safe Place will be introducing a new feature to the TXT 4 HELP program in January that is really exciting. Now, not only will the teens be able to get the address and phone number of the nearest Safe Place site, but they will also be able to connect, via text, to a trained mental health professional who can text back and forth to ensure the youth’s safety and help them find the help they need.
The program is in testing in certain areas across the nation but will be available in Utah and in other participating states starting January 2012. We invite all teens, parents and community organizations working with youth to spread the word about this program so that we can help more teens get help fast. Visit the National Safe Place site if you are interested to find out more information about this program and participating areas.
What do you think about the upgrade to the TXT 4 HELP program?