How connected do you feel? Studies show that it’s important for people to not only feel connected, but also objectively be connected.
In a study conducted by Brigham Young University, it was found that a “the influence of both objective and subjective social isolation on risk for mortality is comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality.”(Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2015)
In other words, loneliness may be just as deadly as risk factors such as smoking or obesity. They found that “the subjective feeling of loneliness increases risk of death by 26%.”
According to Brigham Young University, this study even shows that the mortality risk in younger populations is “actually greater than among older populations.” (BYU News, 2015)
What this should tell the audience, is that more than ever, people of all ages need to feel and be connected as part of their overall health.
Crisis Connections, one of the oldest crisis centers in the nation, reiterates this message. Having access to support at any time can help people feel connected. Many of their services are telephone-based; however, a few of their programs offer online chat abilities, including: Teen Link, King County 2-1-1, and as of 2018, Washington Recovery Help Line. They have been working hard to find ways to expand their continuum of care.
At their community fundraiser event, they launched their first ever technology campaign, CONNECT. “This campaign will go towards funding texting for all five lines,” says Director of Development and Community Relations, Lauren Rigert. “We are starting with Teen Link to respond to the demand of the youth population wanting to connect with us via text.”
With much excitement, through the fundraiser, they were able to collect $85,000 and generate enough revenue to support texting for their teen program, Teen Link. Staff and volunteers will continue to roll out texting for each line as they obtain funding for each program. Texting will not replace their phone lines though; instead, it is meant only to expand and enhance their services.
Many people feel connected through use of their phone. One is often hard-pressed to even find someone who leaves their phone at home these days. Offering a texting line at Crisis Connections is yet another way they aim to meet demands of their community in reaching people in the ways they feel most comfortable. That way, everyone can feel connected.
To connect with their mission, you can visit www.crisisconnections.org.