I think the statistics coming from the text service in the UK are interesting.
In the 10 months since Shout launched as the UK’s first 24/7, free and confidential crisis text service, our trained volunteers have had 250,000 conversations. Around 18,000 of these have been with children under 13. Suicide is the main issue that people in this age group are contacting Shout about, with 30 per cent of our conversations involving this subject, followed by depression (28 per cent), anxiety (26 per cent), self-harm (25 per cent), relationships (25 per cent), loneliness (17 per cent) and bullying (10 per cent).
We know that half of the people texting Shout felt they didn’t have anyone else to talk to, and four out of 10 have never asked for help elsewhere.
As the rest of the article points out, clearly young people want to have honest discussions about their struggles, and mental health issues in general. Many are only finding a safe place to do so in text messages with this service, which is a good start, but it also points out that we all owe these young folks a safe place to talk. If a text service can be a start, great. But, it can be the starting point to more conversations, and more support.
Our young people, heck, anyone of any age, deserve to have that.