Investing in a New Approach Baptist Community Ministries’transom grant to VIA LINK is $380,000 over three years.“VIA LINK looked at ways they could reach teens and tweens that resonated with how they communicate,”says Christy Ross, BCM Vice President, Health Grants.“We’re funding their Crisis Teen Textline and Crisis Chat, which we see as novel approaches to a community problem.” Crisis Chat was VIA LINK’s next step in providing confidential mental health assistance. Launched in summer 2016, Crisis Chat targets adults 25 and older who desire a confidential way to seek help. Dobbs says many of the chats are with people • Studies show that only 5% of teenagers are willing to call a crisis line for help. • In one year, Crisis Teen Textline recorded over 38,000 teen text conversations. at their work, people who live with domestic violence — even victims of human trafficking. Over 2,300 people reached out for help through Crisis Chat within the first year. “Crisis Teen Text and Crisis Chat are novel approaches to a community problem.” — Christy Ross BCM Vice President, Health Grants VIA LINK counselors “listen” to youth and guide them in decision-making, all via text and chat. Coming Soon Now in the third year of the grant, VIA LINK will focus on launching Text 211, leveraging the help line as a portal for mental health resources and counseling. VIA LINK already fields 211 phone calls for rent and utility assistance, food, shel- ter, childcare, housing, healthcare and crisis needs. Text 211 will be another way for people to get the help they need. “After Katrina, 80% of mental health professionals left this area and haven’t returned,”Dobbs says.“We found some ways to bridge that gap. 11