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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

The therapist is online

New York City is offering free online therapy to teenagers 13 to 17 years old, reports Michael Elsen-Rooney on Chalkbeat.

Teenagers can text, call or video chat with therapists via a city program called NYC Teenspace. Testing is unlimited, but live sessions are limited to once a month, according to Talkspace, which is running the effort.

Those in acute crisis will be referred to an in-person counselor or psychiatric care.

Depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide have soared for young people across the country. About 9 percent of New York City high school students said they attempted suicide in 2021, according to a Health Department survey.

“There’s something that has happened to the COVID babies and the COVID children that we are not going to ignore,” Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference.

A shortage of counselors and a surge in mental health problems prompted districts in Texas' Brazos Valley to offer free online counseling, reports Emma Lawson in The Eagle.

The College Station district contracts with Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT). Chrissy Hester, director of student services, was dubious about online counseling, but decided to give it a try.

“It’s like a Zoom,” she said. “It runs through the summer, it runs through the Christmas holidays and it has been such a wonderful asset to getting mental health resources to our kids and their families.”

New Jersey is partnering with a private company to provide free telehealth counseling to college students.

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