Teens working on new anxiety/depression campaign for those affected by COVID-19

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado Crisis Services is reporting record highs for services this Spring.

They’re turning to their youth leadership program, to put together some new messaging to reach teens struggling with being quarantined.

The “Below the Surface” awareness campaign is working to reach those teens who are hurting at home right now, and remind them they’re not alone.

It’s designed by teens, for other teens, to connect them to the Colorado Crisis Services text line.

“We live in this dark world where teens think the world is against them, 16-year-old Malyssa Campanella, who is one of the campaign’s youth leaders, said.  

“One negative thing can change the way a teen views the world, and how much they really want to be done. These people on the other end of the line will sit there and listen to you for hours,” she added.

The campaign was launched statewide in 2019.

“This [past] summer, we were appealing to all the different groups and how to target different personalities, and how you can get people talking,” Campanella explained.

And they are—according to the numbers.

The crisis line saw a nearly 50% increase in calls in texts last month, as compared to March of 2019.

“Being quarantined for some teens can mean having to stay in perhaps an unsafe or toxic household,” youth leader Shelnna Huynh said. “So school and work are outlets for some people. Not having these outlets affects their mental health.”

Youth leaders across the state are now working to tailor their ongoing campaign to anxiety and depression that may be tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think going forth—we’re not going to necessarily meet as a group, but we will push this on social media—which is great, because then all of our friends and peers can see it only as well,” Campanella said.

She says it’s a way to reassure those who have used the crisis line in the past that resources are still available, but also reach a broader audience.

“Right now, people are feeling that anxiety of being alone and what’s going to happen.  It’s okay to feel that. There’s hope on the other end—and that’s the message we want to get out there,” Campanella told FOX31.

There’s currently about 40 young people working on this new messaging.

They expect to publish their new messaging in the next two weeks.

For more information about Colorado Crisis Services, click here.

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