November 13, 2017 07:42 PM
DULUTH - With one reported suicide over the past week and the death of another teenager that was despondent, Eyewitness News decided to look into what is causing the issue, and what can be done about it.
"I think some youth might think suicide can be the answer because life can be overwhelming," said Meghann Levitt, Northeast Minnesota txt4life Coordinator.
txt4life is a program that was started back in 2011. It is a way for teenagers to text a counselor about issues they may be having. All a person has to do is text the word "LIFE" to 61222.
"It's an anonymous service, so the person texting in can give the counselor as much or as little information as they'd like," said Levitt.
There are also trainings available for community members that teach how to question a person about suicide, persuade them to get help, and then refer them to the appropriate resources.
Levitt wants people to know there are options available, but she realizes that might be tough for people thinking about suicide.
"I think just figuring out what that help looks like for that person is going to be very beneficial in that time of crisis," said Levitt.
There is also another local resource called the mobile crisis team. txt4life works very closely with the mobile crisis team to arrange for the person texting the counselor to be able to meet them at a location of their choice if they want. Levitt says that sometimes it just takes somebody to listen.
"If somebody's been thinking about suicide, sometimes nobody has been willing to listen, or are there to listen, and so it's just been thoughts kind of swirling around in somebody's head," said Levitt.
txt4life is a Minnesota funded program, so anyone from outside the state that texts will be helped the first time, but after that, they will be re-directed to a local line in their area. People, however will never be turned away from help.
Questions about txt4life, including community trainings can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found at http://www.cccollab.org/youth-services/text-4-life/.
Updated: November 13, 2017 07:42 PM
Created: November 13, 2017 06:52 PM
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