True Leaders Tackle Mental Health through Text, Talk, Act

By Kittrina Thompson June 07, 2016

4‑H is committed to helping youth across the nation respond to challenges every day in their communities and world. A key component of this is ensuring healthy minds for our 4‑H’ers. Given that ¾ of all mental health issues present themselves before age 24, and that only 1 in 4 Americans seek treatment for mental health issues, this work is more important than ever.

Last fall, we partnered with Text, Talk, Act to bring the conversation to our 4‑H programs. Due to the tremendous success, we are extending our partnership to make Text, Talk, Act available to 4‑H programs for your school and summer camp programming.

Text, Talk, Act uses text messaging to facilitate a face-to-face conversation on mental health. Participants gather in small groups (3-4 people) with one cell phone per group. They text START to the number 89800 to receive a series of text messages that guides their group through a conversation on mental health: why it is important, how to care for it, and how to help a friend in need. The text messages include videos, social media interactions, polling questions and discussion questions.

Throughout the month of June, 4‑H is teaming up to bring Text, Talk, Act to all of our 4‑H programs, free of charge*. Here are four things you can do to help out:

  1. TRY IT
    It’s easy! Simply text “START” to 89800 and follow the prompts. Text, Talk, Act is available for you to try right now.
  2. SHARE IT
    Share this information with your local 4‑H programs. Simply forward this announcement to program staff.
  3. HOST IT
    Bring Text, Talk, Act to your 4‑H program throughout the month of June. It takes less than an hour, and you can do it anytime that’s convenient for your group. Click here for tips on organizing Text, Talk, Act.
  4. WIN CASH PRIZES
    This June, Text, Talk, Act is hosting a 4‑H contest to win cash prizes for your state 4‑H program. Have your 4‑H programs join Text, Talk, Act in the month of June and your state could win $1,000! For more information, www.creatingcommunitysolutions.org/4-h-contest-information
    With your help, we will empower 4‑H’ers to raise awareness on mental health and become more comfortable reaching out to peers in need.

If you are interested in learning more about Text, Talk, Act, please contact Raquel Goodrich at rgoodrich@email.arizona.edu

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