A new texting hotline will help teenagers get help dealing with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray announced yesterday along with her daughter, Chiara De Blasio.
Called NYC Teen Text, the program will be piloted at 10 high schools around the city—all students have to do is text "NYC Teen" to 65173 to receive "prompt, confidential information and emotional support on issues ranging from feeling sad or hopeless, to depression," according to a press release from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The program will be available Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 9 p.m., and on weekends from 1 to 9 p.m. A 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 27 percent of public high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks—and only 18 percent received help from a counselor.
“As long as I can remember, I felt like something was wrong with me,” she said.“I cried all the time. My interactions with others made me hate myself. I always wanted to crawl into a hole and fall asleep forever."
Her mother, Chirlane, added that it's important to "meet teens where they are—and where they are is on their phones."
“NYC Teen Text will provide our young people with a safe, convenient and confidential way to get in touch with trained crisis counselors when they’re feeling overwhelmed. When it comes to helping people if our tools keep up with the times.”
A similar service also exists nationwide, and while its founder is pleased that NYC Teen Text is coming to New York, she is also confused as to why the city is reinventing the wheel.
“It’s a bummer to see the city I love spend taxpayer money to create a part-time version of something that already flourishes,” Nancy Lublin, of the Crisis Text Line, wrote in an email obtained by the Post.
Teens can access Crisis Text Line by texting 741741 24 hours a day.