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).

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

  • Across the state among teens, the most common trends (stressors) for this period of time were in these areas: FAMILIAL, RELATIONSHIP, SAFETY CONCERNS, FINANCIAL and EDUCATION.
  • Daily text totals during the summer months reached an average of 36. From the beginning of school through the end of September, the average quickly moved to approximately 50 texts per day. We expect to receive up to 85 texts per day in the next couple of months.
  • There was a 179 percent increase in texts from teens throughout Colorado during August and September 2019, as compared to the same months in 2018. We feel confident that the statewide campaign for Below the Surface contributes to the majority of that increase.

  • We heard from numerous teens whose parents are going through a divorce, or teens who are dealing with a recent divorce and feeling caught in the middle. While the divorce rate is nearly 50 percent, teens still feel very much alone in their process and value connection to talk about their sadness and anger. During this time we had 71 texts from young teens/children 12 years old or younger.

  • We had a few teenagers reach out with distress following a parent discontinuing or refusing to provide mental health treatment to their child. It can be very discouraging to a teen when stigma originates in their own family system.

  • We heard from numerous teens who were experiencing distress following their first sexual experience and concerns about pregnancy. This is a relatively new conversation in the text space. Our counselors can normalize and share resources as necessary for safety and health.
  • We had numerous teens concerned about their weight and body image and the potential for an eating disorder diagnosis. It is important to include this information in health and wellness classes.

  • We had numerous teens experiencing conflict in relationships and breakups, seeking support and guidance in how to deal with those intense emotions.

  • We had 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.
  • We had a few teenagers reach out for some support after their families lost their homes and began experiencing homelessness. We provide support and resources.
  • We had numerous teens reach out following a recommendation from their school counselor for continuity of care. Many of those teens (153) spoke about concern related to alcohol use and marijuana equally. Our teens rank 12th nationally for texting about substance use concerns.
  • We had a few teenagers reaching out following a conversation with Safe2Tell about bullying. It is important for CCS and Safe2Tell to cross-refer for our specific niche services.
  • Teens texted to talk about hallucinations and triggers on 43 occasions during the summer.

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