Tucson campaign creates tools for talking about mental health

Mon, 2015-04-13

Tucson News Now

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -It seems young people talk more through text than any other way.

A group that started in Tucson after the January 8 shooting is focused on getting young people to use texting to talk about mental health issues, and the help that's out there for people who are struggling.

The experts said three-fourths of mental health issues appear in people before they reach the age of 24.

Plus, this is a program that uses text messages. So, it stands to reason that it targets college-age and younger people at Pima Community College and at other schools across the nation.

The campaign “Text, Talk, Act,” started by the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona, gives small groups the tools to begin talking about mental health issues.

Often, students find they are the ones who need help, but didn't realize it or they use the program to get the tools to open a dialogue with others so friends or family who are struggling can see they are not alone.

“I would like to participate because I would like to know what my friends are going through,” PCC student Leslie Gamez said. “If it's something they want to talk about I want to be there for them.”

“What can I do to help them? Like make them feel better? Like make them feel like there's people that actually care about their illness and try to help them?” student Sam Altamirano said.

“So it's a real easy way for students, for young people, for people of all ages to make a difference and to help others and to help connect them and tell them that it's okay and that they're here to support them,” said Raquel Goodrich with the UA National Institute for Civil Discourse. “And to help them seek the help that they need. And you get that out of this? And you get that out of this. Absolutely.”

To learn more about Text, Talk, Act, click here: http://bit.ly/1DFVATN.