Holidays can be hard for people. They just can. LEAD and the Lake Forest–Lake Bluff Community Wellness Task Force want to remind people about Text-A-Tip, a 24/7 anonymous text system that was launched in January 2014. All you need to do is text the phrase “847HELP” on your cell phone to 274637.
The Text-A-Tip system provides an anonymous text-communication system to both youth and adults in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Knollwood. The system allows community members to send a text message to the dedicated number (274637) and receive an immediate response. The person sending the text message can have a conversation with the respondent while remaining completely anonymous during the process. People wishing to share a concern about themselves or someone else will be able to do so, and receive help, while maintaining anonymity.
While the Text-A-Tip system is available for communication of any concern, its intended purpose is for community members to be able to use it when they need immediate mental health assistance for themselves or for a friend or family member. The anonymity of the communication makes it a comfortable place for someone to share a concern about another individual without risk of someone knowing who sent the report.
How It Works:
Our community receives a unique ID which routes messages, in real-time, to our respondents. All messages are sent through a cloaking server located in Canada that keeps the communication completely anonymous.
Anyone wishing to use the system may simply text the phrase “847HELP” to 274637.
Who Responds to the Texts?
The response team consists of Licensed/Certified Mental Health Professionals from the Child, Adolescent, and Family Recovery Center in Lake Bluff, meaning all respondents are local clinicians who are known to the community. Respondents rotate via a pre-established, on-call schedule and are responsible for appropriately responding to each communication and for following up and reporting whenever necessary. In the case of a life-threatening condition or criminal activity, emergency responders will be notified.
Substantial funding has been provided by LEAD and the Community Wellness Task Force, including LEAD, Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest College, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, and both the City of Lake Forest and Village of Lake Bluff Police Departments. Donations are welcome to ensure that this much needed resource continues.
For more information, visit www.leadingefforts.org or call (847) 295-9075.