Tri-City youth now able to connect with anti-bullying resources and help via 2TALK (28255)
Youth in the Tri-City area will be the first inÂ Canada to be able to connect with anti-bullying and harassmentÂ resources by theÂ communication method they know best: texting.
I AMÂ SOMEONE Ending Bullying Society has launched a texting platform pilot targetingÂ secondary school students in the Tri-Cities. The innovative textingÂ platform,Â accessed by keying 2TALK (28255) from any mobile phone, allows youth dealingÂ with bullying and other issues such as gangs, sexual exploitation,Â dateÂ violence or abuse to connect with local community support services.
â€œThis has been a long overdueÂ service that we need to provide to our youth, and it is our hope that the pilotÂ will be so overwhelmingly successful that we canÂ take it to every city acrossÂ the country,â€ said Gary Mauris, President of the I AM SOMEONE Ending BullyingÂ Society, and President and co-founder ofÂ Dominion Lending Centres. â€œThere are aÂ lot of people and organizations in the community that support youth beingÂ bullied, but there seems to be a disconnectÂ between that support and the youthÂ that need help. 2TALK will try to bridge that connection and give youth theÂ support they need, in a way that is easy andÂ confidential.â€
2TALK will initially serviceÂ Tri-City secondary school students attending both public and private schoolsÂ within School District 43. Following the four-monthÂ pilot, the service will beÂ evaluated and if successful could be expanded into neighbouring communities.
â€œWe could not be more thrilledÂ that the pilot has launched, and our idea has completely come to fruition now.Â To know that we are connecting our youthÂ RIGHT NOW with the support they needÂ via text message is nothing short of amazing, and we believe that this is goingÂ to play a major role in providing moreÂ support to our community by identifyingÂ potential gaps in services that arenâ€™t yet available,â€ said Greg Moore,Â Vice-President of the I AM SOMEONE EndingÂ Bullying Society and Mayor of Port Coquitlam.
The texting platform is operatedÂ by bc211 and the initial pilot has been funded by TELUS.
The pilot phase will operateÂ Wednesday through Sunday from 3:30pm to 11:00pm. Outside operating hours, youthÂ will receive an automated text messageÂ stating the hours of operations and toÂ call 211 if the person needs immediate assistance. Texts will be responded toÂ once the service reopens.
Coquitlam Centre is a proud flagship supporter of this tremendous campaign and on Saturday, October 18th, will be kicking off ‘The Ultimate Online Auctionâ€™. This is a brand new fundraising initiative which will see all of the proceeds go to to support the I AM SOMEONE Ending Bullying Society and their Help Text Messaging Platform.