Beaumont Health has provided a gift of $40,000 to support expanding the Crisis Text and Chat service at Common Ground.
A Resource and Crisis Helpline telephone service is free and available 24-hours per day, seven days a week. However, due to limited funding, text and chat service has only been available from 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Monday through Friday. Beaumont’s gift will more than double the current coverage, expanding the text and chat service to 4 p.m.–2 a.m., seven days a week.
“Providing an avenue for troubled and confused youth to reach out for support will help prevent tragedies such as teenage suicide,” said David Wood, M.D., chief medical officer, Beaumont Health and a longtime supporter of Common Ground. “Teenagers are often more comfortable and feel ‘safer’ texting than speaking with someone on the phone. Our hope is that the expansion of the text and chat line will save lives.”
Common Ground’s 24-Hour Resource and Crisis Helpline added text and chat service approximately five years ago to reflect societal shifts in communication. The Oakland Community Health Network is the primary funder of the Resource and Crisis Helpline.
Common Ground has a stated goal of providing text and chat service 24/7 and hopes the Beaumont sponsorship will serve as a springboard to secure additional funding. The benefit of text and chat is to provide a lifeline to those seeking crisis support, but who prefer not speaking on the telephone, or are in situations which do not permit them to do so safely. Expanding the hours will provide greater access to crisis intervention services, particularly to those in greatest risk age group of 10-14 years old.