The Texas Youth and Runway Hotline has answered more than one million calls from youth and parents who are in crisis. Now youth and parents in crisis can access its services through text and chat. (The text number is 1-512-872-5777.)
The hotline, a service of the The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, launched new features last month. Despite fielding over a million phone calls, calls have been declining since 2010 as communications habits change.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokesperson Julie Moody says the agency hopes to adapt by adding these newer and more popular means of communication.
"The kids these days normally don’t talk on the phone," Moody says. "They text or they’re online, and they chat. So the Texas Youth and Runway Hotline decided to sort of change with the times and add these two different services so that we could reach more kids in need."
The phone option is still available (1-800-989-6884.).
The hotline received 7,642 calls in 2013. Moody says most of the calls that come in are from adults who are asking about services and resources for a child they may know.
The second most calls come from kids themselves. Moody says they usually seek information and resources: a safe place to stay for a night or resources for mental health issues or drug or alcohol abuse.