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California high school prints crisis hotline on IDs

It’s a fairly common occurrence for a university’s campus card to be adorned with student help lines and other valuable contact information. Less common, however, is for that information to be printed to a K-12 ID card.

But at California’s Davis High School, a campus volunteer crisis counselor has ensured that all students will have the contacts for this necessary support. As reported by The Davis Enterprise, beginning in August the backs of all student Id cards will be printed with the contact information for the Crisis Text Line — a free, confidential, 24-hour support service that students can contact any time via text.

The text line operates much as a crisis or suicide hotline does, with trained crisis counselors responding to every text they receive with support, counseling, referrals and more. A parent in the Davis Joint Unified School District and a crisis counselor with the text line initially approached school administrators about having the Crisis Text Line added to school identification cards, and administrators didn’t hesitate.

The inspiration for printing the information on ID cards at Davis came from a national conference for text line counselors where a school from neighboring Palo Alto had printed the text line information on its ID cards. Though it’s also a practice that has been heavily employed at the higher education level, as well.

The nationwide Crisis Text Line represents a valuable resource for students, and since going live in August 2013, nearly 37 million messages have been exchanged between crisis counselors and individuals in need. Also being printed to the back of Davis ID cards is information about the STOPit App, which allows students to anonymously report concerns directly to school administrators.

Prior to the change, the backs of Davis High student ID cards only contained information related to lost or replacement cards and how to order copies of the photograph on the front. The previous layout did leave space available for the additional text and information, so no design elements had to be removed.

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