CONTACT Care Line will launch chat and text-based emotional support, the first of its kind in East Tennessee with funding from the Trinity Health Foundation. This summer, CONTACT will pilot the Chat/Text Line in collaboration with community and educational partners in Knox and surrounding counties.
In a similar pilot program, Nevada’s TextToday program found that young people preferred text communication, believing it afforded more privacy and confidentiality than phone conversations. Young people were more likely to seek emotional support from strangers, who they believed would be less judgmental than people they knew, including family and friends.
In our fragmented modern world, the need for online emotional support is critical. Over half of people with mental, emotional, or behavioral health issues suffer their first symptoms in childhood or adolescence, and roughly 14-20 percent of young people experience these problems, according to a 2009 study. [Read more…]