JOPLIN, MO,--- Natalie Eudy says stress can be her biggest problem at school.
"Math is a hard concept for me to get. It just kind of piles up and gets irritating," states Natalie Eugy, Joplin North Middle School Student.
Eudy says she would rather text than talk on the phone now she can text to get help dealing with that stress.
"It's just a matter of being where the students are. The students are online. The students are texting. That's their form of communication," states Brandon Eggleston, Joplin North Middle School.
Joplin North Middle School Principal, Brandon Eggleston announced a partnership with Joplin schools and Freeman Health System's Ozark Center today. Students district wide will be able to text or online message principals, vice principals, and counselors to get support.
"There are opportunities for us to talk to students about bullying, about depression, about things going on at home that they're concerned about," states Vicky Mieseler, Clinical Services, Ozark Center.
Ozark Center's Access Crisis Intervention Team can answer texts or messages sent via 2-talk-about-it-dot com 24/7.
"They just enter 85130 in the Regard section of the text and it goes directly to us and they can then direct that text to a certain person," states Mieseler.
Starting next week, students at North Middle School will get signed up to use the school messenger Talk About It Program. School leaders expect it to be available district wide in December to aid students from 4th grade through high school.
"They can be more expressive and they can talk more feel more comfortable about their problems if they're texting it to you," states Mieseler.
Eugy says if a serious issue arises, she'll use the program because it will be easier to discuss it through text.
"We don't always have time to go to the office and we don't always want to talk to them face to face. It's just akaward because it adds something real to it," states Eugy.
The program costs $94,000 for a 7 year license. The Missouri Foundation for Health funded $64,000 for the program, and the Joplin First Response Fund helped fund $30,000. Even with the program, the principal doesn't want to put an end to face to face contact with students.