National Safe Place is an incredible organization that connects teens and children in trouble with convenient places they can get help in an emergency – schools, fire stations, libraries, and other friendly locales where they can be safe if they’re threatened.
For years, their TXT 4 HELP program let young people text in to find the closest safe place near them. They just texted “SAFE” and their address to 69866, and were immediately returned the nearest place. It’s a fast and discreet way to find somewhere to go, without anybody’s eyes prying or ears overhearing.
Now, National Safe Place is giving teens and children even more immediate emergency access to help – through live chat with a counselor. First, the automated system responds with the location and contact information of the Safe Place location closest to them. Then, the automated response will prompt users to ‘reply with 2CHAT for more help.’ If a user replies with 2CHAT, he or she will be able to text interactively with a Master’s level mental health professional.
National Safe Place’s live chat is another great example of an organizations using SMS to provide valuable, direct services to the communities that need it most. Whether it’s mortgage counseling to at-risk communities or a bus schedule, SMS can provide information when you want it. That’s especially critical for vulnerable communities, like young people in danger.
According to National Safe Place’s press materials,
With the many heartbreaking headlines this year surrounding youth safety and issues such as bullying and teen suicide, it’s more important than ever that today’s youth know there are places they can turn to in times of needs. It’s important that we stand together to protect our youth and help prevent such tragedies from continuing to happen in the future.
If you are a teenager in need of help, text SAFE to 69866.