Free, confidential text line available for Sarasota County students and the public 24 hours a day

School District collaborates with Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation

Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools

In recognition of the Sarasota County School District’s emphasis on mental and behavioral health, district leaders are reminding students, families and the public about free and confidential resources available to anyone in need of a counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“With [the recent] passing of two former Parkland students and a Sandy Hook parent affected by loss, we are reminded of the need for extended services not only in schools, but throughout the community,” said Superintendent Todd Bowden in a news release. “Suicide is a complex dynamic that requires many prevention efforts, including attention from school staff, families and communities. We are thankful to [the] Barancik Foundation for providing our students access to the Crisis Text Line should they need to speak with a counselor whenever they need one.”

The Crisis Text Line was launched by a woman named Nancy Lublin in 2013, the release explains. It is available nationwide “for people who need immediate help and prefer a text message option,” the release says. Anyone with a phone may text “HERE4U” to 741741; then, the person immediately will be connected with a trained counselor, regardless of the time of day or day of the week, the release adds. “The service is available to all students in Sarasota County through a grant from the Barancik Foundation, the release points out.

“Signs are displayed in school bathrooms, media centers and hallways to remind students of the free and confidential service,” the release adds.

As a secondary service option, the National Association of School Psychologists recommends the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as a resource available to students and their families. “By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255), students have access to counselors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” the release continues. The association also offers free online resources for parents and families in both English and Spanish, the release notes