Text-A-Tip offers help to students

With the new semester, Grayslake North has unveiled a new way for students to request anonymous, professional help for themselves or their friends.
Text-a-tip, a new service based out of Lake Forest, will provide around the clock assistance to students and families in the area who need help with drug or alcohol abuse, depression, family issues or any of the myriad of issues that teens face today.
Megan Licht, the associate principal of student services, spearheaded the initiative as a way for students to talk about problems they are facing completely anonymously.
“It is an online service for anybody to receive instantaneous help for drug abuse, bullying, depression or family issues. It is completely anonymous, so it allows students to feel open about anything they want to talk about without being scared to tell someone at school,” Licht said.
In order to receive help, students simply text a number or use the app. Within seconds, they can expect a response from a trained professional from the LEAD (Linking Efforts Against Drugs) program in Lake Forest. The LEAD program is a non-profit dedicated to the promotion of healthy family relationships and the prevention of alcohol, drug use, and other risky behavior by youth.
“The day that we launched it, last Tuesday, they brought in an extra 100 people, and they were flooded all day, which was awesome. I know sometimes kids hear things in their classes or on social media and they might be scared to come down here to talk to someone. Now all they have to do is text,” Licht said.
School staff and officials hope that the text-a-tip hotline will help give administrators a better idea of what goes on outside of school, while offering full immunity to those who submit tips.
“After the tip is sent, a licensed professional will respond immediately. Towns who are using text-a-tip have received tips that have helped save distraught students and curbed reckless activity,” said police liaison Amy Guzman.