ANN ARBOR - Ozone House is expanding its crisis line capabilities with the launch of new TEXT and CHAT services on June 5.
The new modes of contact are in addition to Ozone's 24/7 CALL crisis line, which receives over 2,000 calls a year.
Since 1969, Ozone House has been helping shelter and support children, teens and young adults in crisis and their families from across Washtenaw County. All of its services are free, voluntary and confidential.
With the two new TEXT and CHAT services, the nonprofit hopes more young people will reach out, as text and chat applications become the preferred mode of communication over traditional phone calls.
From a safety perspective, the new crisis lines will allow young people to get emergency services discreetly in a situation where making a phone call could put them in danger.
Ozone House's emergency shelter at 1705 Washtenaw Avenue (Photo: Ozone House)
Highly trained volunteers staff the CALL.TEXT.CHAT crisis line and, according to officials with Ozone House, "have been specifically trained on communicating with young people in crisis via the new tools, with the absence of verbal cues."
"We've done the research and worked hard to make sure the skills that crisis counselors use on the phone, like empathy, and communicating warmth, support, and understanding - can be effectively communicated through text and chat," crisis line and volunteer coordinator Allison Brengle said in a press release.
"It's difficult to not hear folks' voices - but it's also remarkable how much we are able to sense and perceive over text and chat. The main difference is what would usually be about a 20 minute phone call roughly translates into a 60-70 minute text conversation. We’re happy to take that time."
Brengle said to her knowledge, Ozone House is the only agency in Washtenaw County to offer crisis text and chat.
Call or text Ozone House at 734-662-2222, or chat with a counselor at www.ozonehouse.org.
To become a volunteer for the CALL.TEXT.CHAT. crisis line, fill out an application here.
For more information about Ozone House, visit www.OzoneHouse.org.
Copyright 2018 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.