MESQUITE – A new Nevada program connects teens and young adults over text to support each other through mental health challenges.

What makes the text line so unique is that it’s staffed by other trained young adults, a highly successful and evidence-based peer support model. It’s as easy as texting a friend when you’re feeling stressed or a little down.

Anyone ages 14 – 24 in need of non-crisis support can confidentially text (775) 296-8336 from noon – 10 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days per year. Another differentiating feature of the NV Teen Text line program is the ability for parents and other concerned loved ones to prompt an initial text to their teens by sending a request to NVtextline@gmail.com. The NV Teen Text Line is operated by the Nevada nonprofit, NAMI Western Nevada, and funded by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

The launch of this initiative comes at a time when communities across the country are celebrating the month of May as National Mental Health Awareness month. The need for accessible mental health support for our youth has been illustrated in recent reports. A recent CDC study showed that 44% of high school students reported consistently feeling sad or hopeless during the past year.

The study also found that youth who felt connected to adults and peers at school were significantly less likely than those who did not to report persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. The 2022 State of Mental Health in America report, published by Mental Health America, ranks Nevada as last in the nation for youth mental health, indicating that Nevada youth have the highest prevalence of mental illness and lowest rates of access to care.

 

“I remember being younger and not really having what I felt was a judgment free place to talk about my feelings and everything going on in my world. I felt closed off and always wanted an outlet. I wish I had the NV Teen Text Line available to me as a place to turn to when it all felt too much. To know that there is someone else who cares on the other end of the conversation really makes a big difference.” – Elissa Kis, a 26 year old Clark County resident who helped develop the NV Teen Text Line.

The public can find more information on the NV Teen Text line at https://namiwesternnevada.org/nvteentextline/