Riverside Township, IL, September 3rd, 2019:
Riverside Township Mental Health Board Partners with Riverside Brookfield High School to provide a State-of-the-Art Student Mental Wellness Support. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 20% of youth between the ages of 13-18 live with a mental illness with 50% of youth experiencing symptoms by age 14. Many youth struggles with early mental health symptoms alone, not knowing how to reach out for help. Assisted by consultant John Shustitzky PhD., Riverside Township Mental Health Board an extensive assessment of community needs for mental health and related issues. The results identified the need to find unique ways to connect with students, preferably by using students preferred method of communication: their cell phones. With support and funding from the Riverside Township Mental Health Board, all Riverside Brookfield High School students will have access to the new texting program, Support4U this school year.
Support4U is a mental health-related prevention and support resource for students, by which they can text licensed mental health clinicians any time of the day for assistance or guidance. While students can initiate a text conversation on any issue, some of the matters that students might wish to address could include anxiety, depression, substance use, thoughts of suicide, eating disorders, bullying, abuse, or any other mental health-related topic. The resource is anonymous and available 24/ 7, so students’ concerns about their identity are not a barrier to reaching out for help. The clinician’s goal during the text conversation is to assess the situation, provide skills counseling when appropriate and steer the student to available resources in the school and community.
Andy Duran, Executive Director of Lead, the organization behind the texting technology, shared, We are so pleased to be expanding Support4U to give access to more students. We developed the program to be a life-saving resource for students, and we are confident that our partnership with the Riverside Brookfield High School, NAMI and the Riverside Township Mental Health Board will support students and save lives.