To ensure proper
receipt of text messages to Text A Tip, please type the code MCHELP - plus a
message - to 274637.
) is an app that allows students to anonymously text concerns for themselves or others to licensed, trained counselors. Developed by a not-for-profit organization based in Lake Forest called LEAD (Linking Efforts Against Drugs), the app is a proactive tool that connects students to mental health resources anonymously. The app is currently being utilized in school districts and communities on the North Shore and is expanding into other school districts and communities around the country.
In light of concern for students’ mental health following last year’s suicides in Crystal Lake, District 47 became interested in this service as a way for students in need to get help and, along with the McHenry County Community Foundation, has spearheaded the initiative to bring this valuable resource to middle and high school students across McHenry County.
How it works (click here for a brief, 2-minute video):
Students who wish to report a concern will text MCHELP to 274637. A trained, licensed clinician will respond promptly (usually within 60 seconds) via text. The clinician will not be able to identify a student’s cell phone number or address, although students seeking help may (and often do) provide this information. Counselors then determine an appropriate course of action, whether it’s contacting school personnel for follow up care or, in the rare case of an emergency, contacting local McHenry County officials. Initially, licensed clinicians from the Child, Adolescent and Family Recovery Center (based in Hoffman Estates) will be on the other end, responding to McHenry County students’ text messages as they are experienced with service and have been working with LEAD in the product’s implementation and rollout in other communities. The Recovery Center will be working closely with the McHenry County Crisis Center for a planned takeover in 6-12 months.
Text-A-Tip is supported by McHenry County school districts and has been made possible by the McHenry County Community Foundation through an anonymous private donor. The funding covers initial launch and service in McHenry County for the next three years. Printing services for marketing materials were graciously donated by Konica Minolta and Crystal Lake Graphics.