Fulton County has expanded its crisis text line to North Springs Charter High School, along with all other district schools.
“Text 4 Help”, which originally served only some Fulton County high schools, including Riverwood International Charter School, has been expanded to all 17 high schools, the county announced March 27.
The program allows students to anonymously provide tips about safety concerns or get mental health help from a licensed clinician 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a press release said.
Fulton County was the first county in the southeast to offer a program that is always available, a press release said. The service comes at a time of increased discussion and action about school safety threats.
Clinicians have answered a variety of texts from students on bullying, substance abuse, relationships and academic pressure, the press release said.
The service was started as a pilot program in January 2018 by Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis, who represents part of Sandy Springs, and was supported by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. Ellis introduced the initiative and secured funding from the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, which is now funding the program for the second year.
“When I launched the Text 4 Help initiative in 2018, I knew it would be a great resource for our teens who want to talk to someone but also remain anonymous,” Ellis said in the release. “This program continues to grow and for every child that our clinicians help through a tough time, we know we have potentially saved a life.”