Starting this week District 127 students will be able to use text messaging to reach out for help for themselves or friends at any time of day or night. Text-a-Tip allows teens to find anonymous, immediate help if they are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, depression, difficult family situations, bullying, or any of the many challenges they face today. Text-A-Tip is staffed with local counselors provided by LEAD (Linking Efforts Against Drugs), a non-profit organization focused on promoting healthy family relationships and preventing alcohol and drug use and other risky behaviors by youth.
On Tuesday, January 17th, students received information in their first hour classes on how to connect with Text-A-Tip, as well as an e-mail message detailing how Text-a-Tip works. All District 127 staff also have received information regarding Text-a-Tip and the Associate Principals for Student Services prepared information to be sent home to parents.
Text-A-Tip is supported by a multi-community coalition in Lake County and was originated in Lake Forest. A large part of the funding for Text-A-Tip has been provided by the Jordan Michael Filler Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization that was established in memory of Jordan Filler, who grew up in Highland Park and succumbed to heroin addiction at the age of 23. The Foundation creates awareness of drug addiction.
How It Works: Anyone who sends a text message “224HELP” or “224AYUDAME” to 274637 will receive an immediate text response from a trained, professional counselor provided by LEAD (Linking Efforts Against Drugs). The response team consists of licensed/certified mental health professionals from The Child, Adolescent, and Family Recovery Center in Lake Bluff. They are local clinicians who already understand the needs of our communities.
Thanks to a system that routes calls through a cloaking server, texters are completely anonymous, allowing teens freedom to reach out for help without fear. In the case of a life-threatening condition, emergency responders will be notified and be given as much information as is available to help the person in need. Text-A-Tip is available for communication of any kind of concern, though it is primarily intended for community members to use when they need immediate mental health assistance or have a drug/alcohol abuse concern for themselves or a friend. Please note that adults can also use the service to report concerns.