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).

APRIL/MAY 2019

  • Across the state and amongst teens, the most common trends (stressors) for this period of time were FAMILIAL, EDUCATION, SAFETY, ANXIETY, LGBTQIA and RELATIONSHIPS.
  • Overall, there were 175 texts received from teens 13-17 years of age in El Paso County during this period, a 13% increase from February/March report. (126 of the texters in El Paso County live in the approximately 20 ZIP codes provided by NAMI for the Below the Surface campaign.) This increase is likely due to stressors related to the end of the school year including final exams, graduation and the number of suicides among peer groups during this time period.
  • The top county in texting utilization is El Paso, followed by Denver, Douglas, Arapahoe and Jefferson. Teens across the state will benefit from structure and support throughout the summer months.

  • There were more texts related to teens being concerned about loss of friends from suicide and contemplation of suicide than in previous months. This is a concerning and annual trend during the spring.

  • More than 46% of our teen texters reported thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Our assessment and follow-up of these cases is extensive. Teens benefit from a safe place to discuss this; feel less alone; be taken seriously without getting in trouble or labeled; and be more informed about danger zones and plans for themselves. 4% of texters in El Paso County met the criteria for mobile crisis and/or welfare check response.

  • Statewide, the highest utilization of text among teens is between 8 and 11 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays. El Paso County teens text more consistently throughout the day and week than those in other counties. There is every indication that the Below the Surface campaign’s intentional marketing activities in El Paso County yield more volume, unique texters and higher acuity than in other counties.
  • Teens could benefit from knowing “where to start” when they have concerns about violence occurring between them and their parents. They text of fear during these incidences, most often using “abuse,” “damage,” “help,” “harm,” and “scared” to express themselves. Our counselors are aware of duties to protect and warn, and knowledgeable about rules and resources.

  • We continue to have discussions with teens struggling with change in their gender identity and working to get support and inclusion from friends and family.

  • Concerned others — those who text in out of worry for someone else — are regularly using national text line services, with Colorado showing the second-highest utilization rate in the country. Those who use the state text line instead benefit from learning about Colorado’s mobile crisis and walk-in center options.

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