How Are Students Feeling?
Insights from Crisis Text Line about what’s going on with young people right now
As the end of the school year approaches, things look very different for students than they did a year ago. Traditional end-of-the-year celebrations like prom and graduation have been canceled, students are trying to keep up with their schoolwork entirely online, and teachers accustomed to supporting students through transitions IRL are checking in virtually.
We know it’s… a lot. And, we’re here to help.
At Crisis Text Line, we hear by text from hundreds of young people every day. They tell us about their anxieties, the things that are stressing them out, and their feelings about the present moment and the future. They tell us when they need help. And we respond by connecting them with volunteer Crisis Counselors—trained, reliable, empathetic people who are always there.
Messages from students come to us one by one. Each of those messages is tremendously important, and our organization is dedicated to responding to the highly personal, individual needs of the people who send them. But behind the individual messages are larger stories, or trends, about what’s happening with young people in real time, in real places, all across the country.
To see those trends, we analyze data from our text messages continuously, looking for insights that help us prepare our volunteers to do the best possible job. We hope these insights will help you, too.
So, with everything going on, how are students feeling?
Some good news. Students are not stressed about school in the ways they have been in the past. Before COVID-19, school used to be the #1 reason 17-and-under texters reached out for help, it’s now #4 (behind depression, anxiety, and relationships). This means that students still need support, and they need help—during this global pandemic, they just need support for different things.
Students are night owls. The majority of 17-and-under texters are reaching out for help between 8 PM and 4 AM, when their school support systems are not available online.
The fear is real. 43% of texters under 13 mention fear or experience of harm (verbal, physical, or emotional) from people in their homes.
What day is it again? Right now, 17-and-under texters are reaching out for help at the same rate every day of the week. Pre-COVID, there was a slight decrease in messages over the weekend.
This time of year has always felt exciting for me. With a birthday in early June, I was always excited to get to spend the day having end-of-year “parties.” And, of course, by the time I was in high school, I had swapped the celebrations for finals study sessions. It seems we’re all looking at things from a bit of a different perspective now—figuring out new ways to celebrate life, bookend a year, and learn the best we can.
Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. Text SCHOOL to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor.On May 13, 2020 at 10:18 pm by Laurel Schwartz
Laurel, thank you for the incredible work you and your colleagues at Crisis Text Line do each day. And thanks for sharing what you’re learning on the Rethink Together Forum. It’s so good to know you’re there!On May 14, 2020 at 1:57 am by Anne Mackinnon
The emotional intensity of this time is so challenging. I am happy to know there is a resource like Crisis Text line, text SCHOOL to 741741, we are not alone in this.On May 16, 2020 at 10:23 pm by Sarah Baltazar-Pinheiro
As a mom, it is hard to see my daughter struggle on some days, and others she excels. My focus is to allow her to go at her own pace. Her peace of mind is essential to her dad and I. As a community leader; I wish the same for all youth. I walk the walk for that to happen in everything that I do.
Providing the Crisis Text line is one of the most important things that anyone can provide for students, actually for anyone. I was in a virtual training early this morning, yes, on a Saturday, about teens in crisis. It was riveting and sobering. We have your back. There are people available to help. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your feelings with those around you, please call or text the number provided on this forum. Here is a cut and paste to make it easier for you.: <span style=”font-family: Graphik, sans-serif;”>Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. Text SCHOOL to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor.</span>On May 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm by Jennifer Johnson
Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing! And thanks for participating in that training!On May 18, 2020 at 5:18 pm by Anne Mackinnon
How are you feeling as remote learning continues and the school year comes to an end?