App to help Utah kids in crisis

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Source: CVDaily Feed
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An announcement was made a few weeks ago that certain schools in the Weber and Davis County area would be using a new app. It is the Safe Utah Crisis & Safety Tip Line. It was unveiled this year and is now implemented in more than a handful of schools in Utah.

It’s an attempt to use smartphones and mobile apps to tackle a very serious issue. Missy Larson, Chief of Staff for the Utah Attorney General’s office said today’s kids talk through texting.

“And so we looked at these issues and looked at how we are going to get to the kids and how the kids can get to us in the way that they can find support. The most logical way is start talking their language and that is through technology,” she explained.

“And finding ways how we could get therapists directly on the other side of an app and have them there 24/7 for those in need. It’s an incredible resource and is having incredible response and help for the kids here in Utah.”

On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, Larson said when Attorney General Sean Reyes was elected they were looking at a way for kids to be able to call in to get help in case of a crisis. A nearby state had a safety line for tips when someone’s friend was being bullied or there were weapons or drugs at school.

She realized that the model of encouraging kids to ‘rat’ on their friends would not be the best way to go. With help from a state senator and other public officials they realized that the true crisis in Utah is teen suicides and the real need was for crisis support. A private company stepped forward to develop the app SAFE U.T. that has both safety and crisis support.