Anonymous texting helpline set to expand in Illinois following success.
Troubled youth have gained a new ally, and they’re available at the tip of their fingers 24/7. It’s a program based in the Lake Bluff/Lake Forest area in Illinois that allows troubled teens to text a clinician anonymously anytime they need help or advice. The program is so successful that it is now expanding to all of Lake County.
Text-A-Tip is an anonymous text-communication system for youth who need immediate mental health assistance for themselves or a friend, says Andy Duran. Duran is the executive director of LEAD, a Lake Forest-based nonprofit group that initiated the problem to assist local youth who are troubled or suicidal and become another resource for them to turn to. He is also helping to expand the availability of the program nationwide.
CBS This Morning documents a similar program launched by DoSomething.org in this special report
Teens who utilize the service can send a text message to a dedicated number and receive an instant response from a licensed clinician while remaining completely anonymous. The program says that the anonymity makes it a more comfortable atmosphere for teens to open up about the help that they need. It has become a safe outlet for voicing concern, asking questions, and seeking help for themselves and others.
“Text-A-Tip was created to give young people an outlet for anonymous, immediate help for themselves or their friends,” Duran told the Chicago Tribune. Teens who struggle with depression, drug or alcohol abuse, bullying or family issues can reach out for help using a medium that they are already comfortable with.