Designed as mental health resources, use of text and hotlines more common

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According to the American Association for Suicidology, someone attempts suicide every 28 seconds in the U.S.

To improve mental health nationwide, the use of things like crisis hotlines or text lines are becoming more and more common.

Tim and Alysia, using data from the CDC, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that states with higher suicide rates tend to have more rural areas with lower probability of reliable access to healthcare.
A professional counselor I spoke with said she’s noticed just how limited mental health services are in rural areas, so hotlines or text lines can be helpful, but there’s usually more benefit from face to face counseling.

“Something’s better than nothing.”
Nancy Mickelson is going on her twelfth year as campus counselor at Minot State.

She said that although she believes in-person counseling to be the most beneficial, having various resources is never a bad thing.

“I think reaching out for help and simply talking to somebody is a good first step,” Mickelson said.

She said she’s not surprised to hear that North Dakota ranks 22nd when it comes to the use of the Crisis Text Line for anxiety and stress related issues.

“Reality is, we all struggle”

The most common issues among the more than 81 million messages exchanged on the line are relationships, depression or sadness, and suicide.

Mickelson said, “No crisis is too small.”

She’s noticed that off-campus resources often have to put clients on waiting lists.
So although she prefers eye contact, body language, and physical or verbal affirmation, a text or a phone call can go a long way.

Students we talked to at MSU seem to agree.
“For me, I just like having a counselor because it’s more personal that way, somebody to actually talk to, you can see the person and they can get to know you a little bit more,” Mackenzie Long said.

Jasmine Basuil said, “I would go to a counselor, mostly because I’m more trusting up in person than over online.”

“Having the option, though, to be able to call or text someone is definitely something that I would use if it was late at night or if I didn’t want to have a personal conversation with someone,” Long added.

The Crisis Text Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
just text the word ‘home’ to 741741.
You’ll first get two automated responses, but within five minutes or less, you should be connected with a person who can respond to your situation.


These counselors are trained volunteers, not professionals, so if you do need professional assistance, you can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or dial 911.

 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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