Health Notes: Texting option for desperate teens strikes a chord in the NorthlandCarlton County’s Txt4Life program is taking off with teens, the Pine Journal reports.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Carlton County’s Txt4Life program is taking off with teens, the Pine Journal reports.
In March, 470 young people from Northeastern Minnesota made contact with support staff via the text line, county Health and Human Services Director Dave Lee told the Carlton County Board last week. When only a telephone suicide hotline was available, an average of three or four teens per month would call, he said.
The service, which allows teens contemplating suicide to text support professionals for help, was initiated last fall. It has been introduced to 14,000 students in Aitkin, Itasca, Koochiching, Carlton, Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties, Lee said.
The program was established with a $1.4 million grant.
Carlton County initiated the program because the county’s suicide rate is increasing at nearly four times the national average and is one of the highest in the state, Lee said.
The texting program allows people to text “life” to 839863 to be connected with a counselor.