Cabell County Students Encouraged to 'Talk About It'

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- According to the Pew Research Center, teens text on average 50 times a day.

Keying in on how they communicate, the Cabell County School district has launched a new program called "Talk About It."

It's an anonymous messaging service that allows students to text teachers and other approved staff any concerns they have.

The program has only been up and running for two weeks.

To date, there have been 50 messages. Fifteen have been significant and needed follow up.

The issues range from depression, suicidal thoughts, drug use by students in the community and trouble at home.

"We've had kids message us to tell us how much they appreciate it and how they think it's neat and they plan on using it, and we've had some serious issues," explained Cabell County School administrator Todd Alexander. "We've had some issues already that have had to be reported to the authorities that were reported through that system."

Teachers had to commit to being a part of the program because it does take some extra work.

"I think it will be a nice outlet for students to contact somebody if they do feel like they are in need," explained Enslow Middle School Counselor Ashley Beever. "I do think there is going to be work that goes into making sure somebody is on call, how that is going to work among the staff members just getting comfortable with it, getting used to it."

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