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New texting resource available for teens feeling stressed or suicidal

According to IU Health Arnett, Indiana ranks second in the nation for the number of attempted suicides by teenagers. Now, teens in the area have a new resource to help.

Posted: Jan. 16, 2018 11:45 PM
Updated: Jan. 17, 2018 10:27 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — According to IU Health Arnett, Indiana ranks second in the nation for the number of attempted suicides by teenagers. Now, teens in the area have a new resource to help.

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Rhonda Jones with IU Health Arnett knows texting is a way of life for teenagers.

"My own child will text me to ask me what's for dinner," said Jones.

The idea of texting is a large reason why IU started the Safe2Talk initiative. Teens can text Safe2Talk when they are feeling stressed or suicidal.

"We wanted to make this as teen-friendly as possible," said Jones.

Teens will get a response from trained crisis Intervention specialists with Mental Health America of Tippecanoe County.

"Whether they're in crisis, whether it's a stressful event they're going through, whether they're having thoughts or feelings of suicide, we're that point of contact," said Tenecia Pyle, Director of Crisis Intervention Services.

The program started on Dec. 1.

"We've had over 100 text messages come in," said Pyle.

As part of the program, administrators and counselors at a few local school districts were also trained in a suicide prevention program. The program has now rolled out at Lafayette and Tippecanoe School Corporations.

"It creates an awareness of teen suicide in our communities and in our state. It does a great job at creating an education piece for our staff members, our administrators, for our counselors. And then thirdly, it creates access for our students," said Kirk Booe, an assistant superintendent at TSC.

Posters and magnets have been circulating the schools to get the word out.

"I know our counselors are reaching out to kids when they have that need and making sure they have that resource when they're not in school," said Booe.

Mental Health America is hosting another training session for crisis intervention specialists. For more information, click here.

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