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 approximately 30 minutes. RMCP updates this section every two months. Data, suggestions, observations and recommendations will never identify any specific individual(s).

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2019

  • Across the state and among teens, the most common trends (stressors) for this period of time were related to FAMILY, BULLYING, SAFETY CONCERNS and EDUCATION. Bullying was a new item on this list. We are aware of a campaign that jointly offers Safe2Tell and CCS texting as a resource. This activity could be having an impact.
  • Total text conversations per day averaged 50, representing a 40% increase from summer months. There were 915 text conversations during this time, and nearly 17 percent of them were from El Paso County, followed by 9.3 percent being in Douglas County. Others were similarly distributed throughout the state per capita. There are new efforts to promote the texting line on the Western Slope.
  • We had many teens text due to familial disapproval of the teen’s romantic partner. Discussion includes boundaries; effective, difficult conversations; and empathy. Teens express feeling like a disappointment to their parents, which is very sad and burdensome for them.

  • The texting service has been supportive to a couple of young teens who have chronic medical issues and feel isolated among a population of generally healthy peers.

  • We continue to hear from teenagers with distress following their parent discontinuing or refusing to provide their mental health treatment. Teens receive information regarding age of consent, etc.

  • We continue to have numerous teenagers reach out due to concerns around a friend or partner having thoughts of suicide and/or self-harm. Our goal is to help teens have effective conversations with their friends, including asking about suicidal ideation.
  • Teens continue to talk about finances, debt and bills as major life stressors. It would be important for schools and families to have more education and discussion on financial management, as we had over 100 teens talk about financial stress during this period of time.

  • A few notable statistics: Sixty-seven percent of texters during this time were female. Fewer barriers to treatment were indicated. And Monday evenings showed the highest utilization.

  • On the national texting platform, teens in Colorado rank 41st nationally in talking about relationship issues. We text about relationships in nearly every conversation locally.
  • All local messaging notes that crises may be self-defined, and that general conversation is an appropriate use of the texting line.
  • The holiday season can be a lonely time for teens, given family stress and school breaks. As always our texting services will be available 24/7.

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.

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