If you were to examine how the youth of America prefers to communicate with others, there is a good change that texting would be part of the conversation. This is not surprising, as cell phones and instant messaging have been a standard part of their upbringing.
While there are some who are trying to get young people to get their heads out of the screen, other groups have realized that they can embrace this technology to form better connections with certain individuals. According to an article from Medill Reports Chicago, that is what Lady Gaga's Born This Way Federation is doing when it comes to mental health.
Starting this week, young people can gather together, text START to 89800 and receive discussion questions about mental health topics. The "conversation" can last up to an hour and also contains links to poll questions. If someone texts in who is in a crisis and needs someone to talk to, one of the first messages users will receive is contact information for a national hotline for mental health crises so they can receive immediate help.
"We specifically wanted to do this through a text messaging platform to appeal to youth," said Raquel Goodrich, the online engagement manager for the National Institute for Civil Discourse. "This could be a really good way to get youth talking about mental health."
Mental health conversations are not always easy for people to have, especially for the younger demographic. An SMS service can be a great way to engage this group, while providing a quality system.