Mental health care came to the forefront of many conversations recently with the high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. And while neither Spade, nor Bourdain, were as well-known to young people as they were to adults, the shock of their individual tragedies trickled down to media-savvy adolescents. Many of these young people may have even been in the midst of binge-watching Season Two of the Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why,” a show which has been highly criticized for its confusing and sometimes glamorized handling of the topic of teen depression and suicide.
Help is available
Students and the adults who care for their emotional well-being may not know that a well-established resource called “RemedyLive” is just a text message away. Co-Founder/Executive Director, Clinton Faupel, began the text crisis line in 2007 as a way of serving teens and young adults by way of their preferred means of communication. The faith-based organization’s business office is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Its website,e. remedylivcom, makes clear the reason for their method and the intentions of their model. “Our ultimate desire would be that they (young people) would get help face to face, however we feel called to use technology to maximize anonymity, encourage transparency and build a bridge of trust that can encourage a face to face, life on life relationship for the help they need.”
Volunteers are just a text away
By sending the word “REMEDY” to 494949, texters can connect to one of some 120+ “Soul Medics” available 24 hours a day. The backbone of the non-profit, “Soul Medics,” are highly screened adults over 20 years of age who have been trained to provide hope and encouragement in the midst of a wide-variety of critical circumstances. Supervised by paid management personnel to offer meaningful care, these volunteers working from their home computers and mobile devices provide interactive chats to an average of 9,000 different guests to the service per week.
Though beginning a conversation about depression and suicide with your own child can seem daunting, RemedyLIVE hopes every young person will become aware of this accessible and completely free opportunity for help. A poll taken by the organization showed that less than 50% of responding students have contemplated suicide but 64% knew of a friend who struggled with suicidal thoughts. Making a young person aware of the service through the genuine appeal of being a good and loving friend for help is one way that information about texting 494949 can be successfully communicated.
RemedyLive’s website (through which a live chat can also be initiated) is rich with resources for anyone wanting expert help in navigating such emotionally charged topics as eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, pornography addiction, faith questions and bullying.