Dashboard: Colorado Crisis Text Line

About the dashboard

Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners provides free, confidential, 24/7 counseling to users of Colorado’s text support line. As they work, counselors accumulate demographic info on texters, as well as their reasons for texting. That data is presented in aggregate here, searchable by date range, county and age range.

Our hope is that as text-line usage grows — as a result of the “Below the Surface” campaign and other initiatives — various stakeholders in community health will be able to source valuable information and insights from this dashboard.

Now what?

Below, Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners shares recent trends, observations, suggestions and recommendations based counselors’ experiences with teen texters from El Paso County. It is worth noting that on average, a text conversation includes dozens of messages and lasts for more than 40 minutes. RMCP updates this section every two months. Data, suggestions, observations and recommendations will never identify any specific individual(s).

JUNE/JULY 2019

  • Across the state and among teens, the most common trends (stressors) for this period of time were FAMILIAL, SUBSTANCE USE, SAFETY CONCERNS, ANXIETY, LGBTQIA and DEPRESSION.
  • Statewide throughout this period, there were 2,417 text conversations. Thirty-five (35%) of all texts were from texters 13-21 years of age.
  • Overall, there were 71 text conversations with teens 13-17 years of age in El Paso County during this period, a 40% decrease from April/May. This is most likely due to the summer months: teens being out of school and busy with vacations, having less exposure to marketing of the text line, handling job responsibilities, and experiencing less stress due to school factors.

  • We had numerous discussions with teens who were using alcohol to cope with their depression during the summer months.

  • There were more texts about disagreements with family members than during school months.

  • We had a few discussions with teens concerned about disordered eating.
  • During these summer months, we did receive texts from a few parents who were concerned about their child’s active self-harm behavior and thoughts of suicide.

  • We had at least two teens in the state who were concerned that their parent may be suicidal.

  • We had numerous reports of feeling depressed due to the isolation of not being in school.
  • For reasons unknown, during the summer months and across the state, utilization is significantly higher for females than males.
  • Statewide, the highest utilization of text among teens in Colorado is between 8 and 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Friday night utilization is very low. El Paso County teens text more consistently during the week in summer months than those from other counties; the Below the Surface campaign is likely a contributing factor.
  • We continue to have discussions with teens who are struggling with change in their gender identify and working to get support and inclusion from friends and family. Our texting services provide a safe place to talk and feel a connection while developing a self-care plan.
  • Teens texted to talk about hallucinations and triggers on 43 occasions during the summer.
  • Forty-four (44%) of teens indicate major life stressors and uses words such as AFFORD, BILLS, LIVING, AND LOST most often during the texting conversation.
  • Nearly 7% of all texts met the criteria (safety, challenges with accessing next level of care, etc.) for additional follow-up.
  • The average texting conversation is spanning 38 interactions and approximately 40 minutes in duration.

MEDIA

We’re eager for the media to raise awareness of the Below the Surface campaign and the text line. Click below for materials that will make it easy to report on what’s happening.

Reporting resources

SCHOOLS

Interested in getting Below the Surface posters, cards and stickers into your school? Or know of a school that should have them? Learn more about making the connection.

Adoption info